TVB Says Ad Sales Down, But Syndie Up 9.1%

TVBroadcast television advertising in the second quarter was generally hit with a double whammy--the torpedo of lower automotive advertising sales and residual effects from earlier strike-related issues.

Network television sank 4.8% in the period to $6.3 billion, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising and TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Local TV ad sales went south faster, down 6.1% to $3.6 billion.

But the third and smallest piece of the broadcast TV pie, syndication television, had a different story to tell. Advertising revenue was up 9.1% to $1.1 billion. This follows up on decent first-quarter advertising business. Overall, for the first six months, syndicated TV is 10.2% higher at $2.2 billion.

Media analysts credit syndication's general resiliency to the writers' strike. Also, virtually all ad sales for syndication programs customarily occur in the upfront period. When the 2007-2008 broadcast year upfront occurred in June 2007, syndicators gained mostly positive price increases and better overall sales. Scatter sales and pricing in the second quarter of this year began to soften.



Overall, broadcast television was down 4% for the second quarter to $11.0 billion, and off 1.3% for the first half of 2008 to $22.9 million.

The big advertising categories that lost ground were: Automotive advertising, the No. 1 TV advertiser group, sank like a rock, down 17.0%; telecommunications (No. 2) was off 2.3%; restaurants (No. 3) slipped 3.3%; car dealers' associations (No. 4) dropped a big 13.8%; furniture stores (No. 7) was 12.6% lower; insurance (No. 8) was down 4.2%, financial (No. 9) was off 3.1%, and colleges & campus advertising (No.10) slipped 1.8%.

On the upswing were government and other organizations advertising (No. 5), 19.0% higher, and travel, hotels & resorts advertising, (No. 6) was up 5.1%.

Concerning the top 10 individual local TV advertisers--Chrysler-Cerberus inched up 0.9%; AT&T was down 28.2%; Nissan Motor dropped 13.3%; Toyota Motor Dealer Association, down 5.1%; Honda Motor, off 5.5%; Comcast Corp. was way up, 68.5%; Toyota Motor slipped 2.9%; General Motors was up 5.7%; and Verizon Communications was 29.9% lower.




Television Bureau of Advertising - 2Q







2nd Qtr 2008

2nd Qtr 2007

% Change

Local Broadcast TV*




Syndicated TV




Network TV




Total Broadcast TV

















1st Half 2008

1st Half 2007

% Change

Local Broadcast TV*




Syndicated TV




Network TV




Total Broadcast TV









Analysis by the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) of estimates supplied by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. *Includes both local and national spot activity in the 100+ markets measured by TNS/MI.




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