Core advertiser gains seen for TV’s odd-year revenue trough


ChartA survey of industry insiders from TVNewsCheck has yielded predictions for 2013 – and the story is that a 4% gain in core spot advertising categories will soften the blow of lost political revenue.

However, even with some of the sting taken out, the industry is expected to suffer a 7.8% drop in revenue once the last penny is deposited in the bank.

The industry seems to believe that would be a very acceptable result. TVNewsCheck Editor and Co-Publisher Harry Jessell told RBR-TVBR, “Despite the absence of most of the political advertising, broadcasters can look forward to a relatively good year, assuming that the auto industry sells as many cars as some think they will – 15 million or more.”

Jessell said the auto industry believes it will move 14.5M cars and light trucks this year, and adding another half million in 2013 should produce strong advertising results.

Still, the drop in spot revenue will be precipitous, especially when the consensus 2012 gain of 14.3% is taken into account.

TVNewsCheck surveyed rep firms, research firms and 16 television groups to compile its data.
As Jessell noted, hopes are being pinned on the automotive category, always a key. One exec noted that the average age of a car in use today is ten years – a statistic described as dumb-founding. It indicates pent-up demand for new vehicles, demand which is starting to show up in sales projections.

RBR-TVBR observation: At some point we’d like to see the television industry do its comps on a two-year basis. And we’re not picky. Stats for year-over-year and year-to-date can still be a regular part of the reporting mix, as long as they add in year-over-two-years ago.

The simple fact is that comparing even-year TV results to odd-year TV results is like comparing Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. We’d much rather see Jekyll-to-Jekyll and Hyde-to-Hyde – that would make it so much easier to guage how the industry is really trending.