Big jump in Q1 TV revenues


You knew the revenue gain for spot television in Q1 was going to be a double-digit number. Well, the tally from the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) is in – not only is it a double-digit number, but the first digit is a two.

Spot TV was the strongest performer for broadcast television in the first quarter of 2010, posting a revenue increase of 20.8% compared with the same period a year before, according to an analysis of Kantar Media data by TVB.

Total broadcast TV revenues were up 11.1% in the first quarter, with the non-spot component parts breaking down as follows: network television revenues were up 10.9% and syndicated television posted a 13.2% drop.

“This data clearly shows that local television stations are leading the industry as the economy recovers,” said Susan Cuccinello, Sr. VP/Industry Research, TVB.  “These are very strong numbers,” she added.

Advertising Revenue Comparison in Television
2010 vs. 2009
  1st Qtr 2010 1st Qtr 2009 % Change
Spot TV* 3,473,674.8 2,875,432.3 20.8
Syndication 954,247.2 1,099,524.4 -13.2
Network TV 7,234,760.6 6,520,774.4 10.9
Total Broadcast TV 11,662,682.6 10,495,731.1 11.1

Source: TVB

The big boost for TV stations, as you would expect, came from the resurgent Automotive sector. It jumped 75.9% from a year ago to $589 million. Since this is a federal election year, Political advertising increased to $42.2 million from a mere $6.8 million in Q1 of 2009. Look for even bigger Political gains in the second half of the year.

Chrysler Group LLC was the quarter’s biggest spot advertiser, spending $103.2 million – more than twice what it spent a year ago. Ford, Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Hyundai, Nissan, and Volkswagen are also names showing up in the Top 25 list, emphasizing just how important the Automotive sector is to the television business.

Click here for more detail from TVB.

[Note: The chart above is a corrected version supplied by TVB. The original had erroneous figures in the “Total Broadcast TV” line.] 

RBR-TVBR observation: OK, breathe a sigh of relief – and then get back to work. The gains are big, but against very easy comps. There’s still much to be done to rebuild the TV business. Costs have been cut and now it’s time to get revenues back to where they should be.