Cable Posts Big Ad Gains in ’03


Ad-supported cable networks generated $12.09 billion in advertising revenue in 2003, up 11.1% from 2002, according to the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau.

Local/spot cable drew $3.6 billion in ad revenue (up 7.8%), while regional sports networks posted $510 million (up 10.9%), the CAB said, citing Kagan World Media numbers.

Automotive related companies increased their cable spending by 23.3% -- more than any other ad category -- as they shelled out $1.09 billion on cable ads in 2003.

Financial companies were the second-biggest spenders, buying $781 million in cable ads, up 5% from 2002. They were followed by drug companies ($744 million, up 19%), media and advertising firms ($576 million, up 11%), retail companies ($552 million, up 13%), telecommunications players ($510 million, up 20%) and restaurants ($460 million, up 23%).

Ad-supported networks combined averaged a 32.1 rating in primetime in 2003, up from a 30.0 rating last year, according to the CAB. That topped the 28.6 average combined rating from the seven broadcast networks, which dropped from a 29.1 in 2002.