TVB cuts estimates for 2009


For only the second time, the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) has reissued its annual revenue forecast for the industry. The economy has deteriorated so much since the initial 2009 forecast issued in September that the forecast of a 2-5% decline in total spot revenue for 2009 has been revised to a decline of 7-11%. Also, 2008 is now projected to finish down 7.1%, rather than flat.

“Due to the unprecedented economic developments of recent months, we reached out to all of our input sources and asked them to review the projections they gave us last summer. These are not happy numbers to report, but they are the new reality. We take seriously our obligation to our Member Stations to give them the most accurate road map as they work through their planning,” said TVB President Chris Rohrs.

Here is the new TVB forecast for 2009, compared to the September forecast.

                                                                                                   New Forecast       Old Forecast*


Local Spot


-4.0 to -8.0%


+2.0 to -1.0%


National Spot


-11.5 to -15.5%


-7.0 to -10.0%




-7.0 to -11.0%


-2.0 to -5.0%

  *Issued 9/4/08

Ultimately, said Rohrs, the 2009-10 landscape will be shaped by consumer confidence and spending, energy and food prices, debt and credit problems, the real estate market and the performance of the incoming Obama Administration. Key categories would be automotive, political, retail, telecom and financial.

Only once before has TVB revised its annual forecast. The first was after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, which came six days after the original forecast was issued.

RBR/TVBR observation: Reality, indeed. That range of 7-11% could be optimistic. BMO Capital Markets analyst Lee Westerfield recently issued detailed forecasts for a wide range of media in which he projected that spot TV will fall 15.6% next year.