New York -- Continuing a hot streak that began last year,
national spot-cable ad sales jumped by 39 percent in first-half 1999, the Cabletelevision
Advertising Bureau said last week
At least eight categories were hot over that six-month
stretch, according to the CAB: automotive; telecommunications; media and entertainment;
Internet sites; home improvement; public utilities; travel; and restaurants.
Most of those categories have fueled spot cable's revenue
growth for more than a year, according to various spot-cable representation firms and
Spot cable, which finished 1997 with a 26 percent uptick,
closed out last year with a brisk 39 percent surge, the CAB said.
"Other key categories, such as political and
professional services, [will] be highly active as the year progresses," projected
National Cable Communications senior vice president Andrew Ward, who also is on the CAB's
Committee on National Spot Advertising (CONSA).
MediaOne Group Inc. vice president of ad sales Ed Dunbar,
who is also CONSA's chairman, attributed some of the 1999 spot gains to last year's
National Spot Forums. Those presentations, described by executives as the closest thing to
an upfront for spot cable, were held in seven key cities last fall. They were sponsored by
the CAB, NCC and Cable Networks Inc.
Last June, NCC CEO Tom Olson projected that spot cable,
driven by market consolidation and an increased reliance on interconnects, would jump from
$855 million in 1998 en route to its first $1 billion-plus year -- $1.1 billion in 2003.
But spot television sales will continue to dominate, approaching $14 billion in 2003,
The Myers Group LLC, which two weeks ago released its
latest ad spending estimates through 2005, also has a bullish outlook on local/spot cable.
But Myers lumps local and spot cable dollars together, as well as network, syndication and
spot television monies on the broadcast side.
Combined, local- and spot-cable sales should finish 1999 up
20 percent, to $3 billion this year, Myers reported. This will be followed by another 20
percent jump, to $3.6 billion, in 2000.
And despite an anticipated spending slump for many major
media in 2001, Myers predicted local/spot cable would gain by 24 percent to $4.5 billion,
and by 25 percent to $7.3 billion in 2003.