Zucker: TV advertising has “bottomed out”


Is it just the usual upfront posturing or a light at the end of the tunnel? Television advertising has “bottomed out” and broadcasters may post better-than-expected advance sales for the 2009-2010 TV season, NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker said at Dow Jones & Co.’s All Things D conference in San Diego: “This upfront will be brighter than people had expected. We have bottomed out.”

Zucker’s comments echo those of CBS, ABC and Viacom, which have reported signs ad revenue is leveling off, according to the Bloomberg story.

NBC, last among the four largest broadcast nets in ratings, has announced programs for the new season that include “Parenthood,” based on the 1989 movie, and the medical drama “Trauma.” The network renewed “Law & Order,” the long-running police-court drama, and the comedy “Chuck,” and canceled “My Name is Earl.” Peacock has three additional comedies that will start in September, and two that will begin mid-season, including “The Marriage Ref,” a comedy reality-show in which executive producer Jerry Seinfeld gives marriage advice. A new show hosted by Jay Leno will air on weeknights at 10 p.m.

Broadcast network advertising will fall 10% this year to $12.8 billion, Bloomberg quoted Michael Nathanson, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., saying in a 5/26 note to investors. National cable advertising will drop 3% to $20.9 billion.