Forecaster Mark Fratrik has turned considerably more bullish on 2010 US television station growth since his forecast of 3% in December. Now he’s more than doubled that expectation.
The latest forecast from Fratrik, Vice President of BIA/Kelsey, is that TV station revenues will increase by 7.5% this year. So, what’s changed since December?
“What’s changed since December in large part is the increased political [spending],” Fratrik told RBR-TVBR. “There’s obviously the Citizens United decision, which will bring some money in, though I can’t tell you how much it is. I think it will be a sizeable amount. There are a lot more competitive primaries than was thought before. As I result, I think there will be more spending on politics. And the economy is bouncing back a little faster.”
Even at 7.5% Fratrik is still below the most bullish forecast, which appears to be the 10% growth projection by Anthony DiClemente at Barclays Capital. Is it likely that the BIA/Kelsey analyst will have to boost his number as the year goes on?
‘There’s a possibility that it may get even better, if consumer confidence really increases. A lot of it is driven by employment numbers. It’s because of people who will be getting jobs and because other people feel more comfortable about their own jobs,” Fratrik said. That leads to consumers being willing to spend more and, in turn, to advertisers spending more, he noted.
Asked about potential pitfalls, Fratrik noted the debt problems of some European countries. If that gets a lot worse it could lead to higher interest rates and slow down US economic growth. Also, if US employment doesn’t pick up as much as he expects, “that could be a problem.”
RBR-TVBR observation: What a difference a year makes. Last year we saw analysts continuously revising their projections downward amidst the ad recession. This year they’re already revising their forecasts upward – and we’d bet they’re going to have to make further revisions in that direction.