August TV Ad Revenue In 11% Olympic Dive: SMI

Total Spending Up 2% Thus Far in 2013; Cable Ahead 6%

Spending on TV advertising is up 2% this year despite an 11% drop in August, compared to a year ago when NBC broadcast the Summer Olympics.

Ad spending on national cable networks improved 12% in August, according to research company Standard Media Index, and 6% through that month.

While NBC was down 69% in ad revenue in August, according to research company Standard Media Index, the other broadcast networks showed healthy double-digit gains with their summer programming.

Spanish-language broadcast networks also registered big gains in August, with Univision growing 23%, Telemundo 21% and UniMas the former TeleFutura, 44%.

Overall, broadcast networks were down 29% in August.

For the year to date, broadcast TV slipped 1% in ad revenue. CBS is up 20% and ABC 11%, while Fox is flat and NBC off 32%, largely due to the comparison to last year’s London Olympics.

Nickelodeon, which is pulling out of ratings plunge that hurt revenues and earnings at parent company Viacom, registered a 42% increase in ad revenues in August. So far this year, Nick is up 1%.

ESPN has had the most ad revenue among cable network so far this year, riding a 19% jump in August. So far this year, ESPN’s ad revenues are up 1% despite a 32% ratings decline in the second quarter. Ad revenues for the No. 2 network TNT were down 3% in August, but are up 12% this year.

Other big gainers in August included AMC, up 64%; MTV, up 76%; Discovery, up 38%;  History up 29%; A&E up 29%; HGTV, up 26% and Food Network up 24%. Bravo and Comedy Central ad revenues were down last month.

Through August, cable's big gainers include AMC, Lifetime, History and BET. The only top-20 cable network down for the year is Bravo, which is off 9%.

Syndication ad revenues were up 6% in August and have shown a 1% gain so far this year.

Spot TV was down 26% in August compared to 2012’s election bonanza, and is down 2% so far this year. Local spending on stations and MSOs is down 15%, but up 7% for the year.

Spending on digital advertising grew 16% in August and 21% so far this year. Spending on digital video rose  56% for the month.
SMI’s data comes directly from media buying agency spending records representing about 60% of the market. Included in the data is media spending by Vivaki, Mediabrands, Aegis Media and Havas Media.