Cable Ad Revenue Rises 3% In October: SMI

Medium Ahead 6% Through First 10 Months of 2013

Cable ad revenues rose 4% in October, underperforming its growth rate for the 2013 year-to-date, accoding to new figures from Standard Media Index.

SMI said that cable was up 6% for the first 10 months of 2013, driven by shifts in key categories, including automotive, non-alcoholic beverages and beauty, grooming and personal care.

During October, ESPN had the highest revenue among cable networks, despite a 17% decline from the corresponding month in 2012, mainly because automakers' spending dropped 36%. With the return of The Walking Dead, AMC's ad revenues were up 71%.

The broadcast networks, which had encouraging ratings for the start of the new TV season, saw a healthy 8% gain in advertising revenues in October.

CBS had the largest share among the broadcasters, posting double-digit, year-over-year growth in October. NBC had the highest growth from a year ago, with a 21% jump in revenues, thanks to successful new shows like The Blacklist, according to SMI. Fox was up 17% in October, while  ABC grew 7%.

Over the course of 2013 to date, broadcast ad revenue was flat, increasing cable's share of the TV market.

Spot TV was up 9% in October and 3% for the year, while syndication was down 4% in the month, but ahead 3% for the first 10 months of 2013. Local broadcast and local cable ad revenues were off 18% in October from last year's election cycle, but both rose 3% for the year-to- date span.

So far this year, ad revenues were up about 7% in the categories SMI tracks, with total TV improving at a 3% clip. Digital improved 18%, magazines by an 11% rate. Radio, out-of-home, newspapers posted ad amelioration of 3%, 5% and 4%, respectively.

SMI gets its data from media agencies representing about 55% of total spending.