TVB: Oops! Network Ad Spending Rose, Not Fell During Q4, Full Year '03

What a difference a month can make. For network TV ad spending in December 2003, it amounted to nearly $2 billion of difference, the Television Bureau of Advertising said late Thursday upon issuing a correction of its fourth quarter and year-end 2003 broadcast TV ad spending estimates.

The ad bureau said it inadvertently released incomplete estimates late Wednesday, when its data supplier, TNS Media Intelligence/CMR inadvertently left December 2003 network ad revenue estimates out of its base for the quarter and a year. That explains why the TVB originally had advertising sales for the broadcast networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN and The WB, plummeting 27 percent during the fourth quarter and nearly 6 percent for full year 2003. The reality, the TVB said Thursday, was that broadcast network ad sales rose 4.3 percent during the quarter and 3.2 percent during the year.

That, the TVB said, was enough to bring total broadcast TV ad spending up - including local and national spot and syndication - up 0.5 percent for the year, though it still declined 2.2 percent for the fourth quarter due to a drop in local TV ad spending.

That makes sense given recent data released by the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association (MDN Feb. 17), which showed the Big 3 network ad sales growing 3.1 percent during the fourth quarter, but it does not explain why the BCFM showed it dropping 1.2 percent for full year 2003.

Q4, Full Year '03 Broadcast TV Ad Spending



Local Syndicated Network Total
Q4 2004 Dollars: $4.420 $0.9 $6.559 $11.904
Vs. Q4 2003: -12.7% +12.3% +4.3% -2.2%

Full Year '04: $16.244 $3.396 $22.783 $42.423
Vs. Full Year'04: -5.4% +15.3% +3.2% +0.5%

Source: Television Bureau of Advertising analysis of data from TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.
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