National TV Ad Spend Flat For September -- Ending Monthly Declines

National linear TV advertising remained virtually flat in September -- the start of the new TV season and major sporting events -- versus a year ago, inching up a tiny 0.3%, according to Standard Media Index, to just under $4 billion.

But SMI says this was due to the absence of some key sports events that ran a year ago -- including the Ryder Cup golf tournament.

The positive news came with September reversing a general monthly decline that began in March, which witnessed a 1% slip. This was followed by April’s 1% gain, May's 4% downturn, June’s 7% drop, July’s 31% decline, and August’s 10% pullback.

This data comes from SMI's Pool ad-spend data from raw U.S. media bookings placed and billed from major and independent media agencies amounting to around 95% of all U.S. national brand ad spend.



The full third-quarter period -- July through September -- for all media spend was down 14% versus a year ago and down 10% versus 2020.

National TV upfront spend declined 10% during those three months, with scatter sharply falling 24% and direct-response losing 17%. Upfront TV spend represented nearly 75% of all national TV ad dollars -- it's largest share for the third quarter since 2017.

Programming categories: Sports was the big loser in the period -- sinking a massive 43% from a year ago -- this from the absence of major live sporting events in the year ago period, including the Summer Olympics, NBA Finals, and the delayed 2020 Ryder Cup golf tournament.

Entertainment (up 1%) and news content (down 1%) were essentially flat.

Media channels: Cable TV networks were down 8%, while broadcast networks were off 24%. Syndication programming rose 15% -- the first time they saw an uptick for the third quarter for the TV business since 2017.

1 comment about "National TV Ad Spend Flat For September -- Ending Monthly Declines".
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  1. Michael Giuseffi from American Media Inc, November 8, 2022 at 12:41 p.m.

    I wouldn't trust any GOP lawmaker to suggest anything that is in the best interest of the American people.   

    The best inetrest of business and GOP power, yes, but the people?  Not that I have seen any evidence. 

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