Magna Raises Ad Revenue Forecasts

Television Up 8.3% Owing to Olympics, Elections, World Cup

Media agency MagnaGlobal expects ad spending to grow faster than previously expected.

In its new forecast, Magna says that economic recovery, plus a series of special events, such as elections, Olympics, the World Cup and the Affordable Care Act, will push media spending growth to 6% in 2014, up from its original forecast of 5.5%.

During 2013, ad spending grew 2.4%, according to Magna.

Digital will be the fastest-growing media segments, up 14.4%, but TV is in position to benefit most for the special events, growing 8.3%, compared to a 0.6% decline in 2013, Magna said.

The agency says there was relatively low demand for TV during the first quarter or 2014, which lead to soft prices in the scatter market. The weakness was caused by a temporary economic slowdown and by the cold weather that affected retail, auto and restaurants.

“We believe that demand will gradually pick up across the year and that political spending alone will provide $3bn of incremental revenues to local television in Q3 and Q4,” the Magna forecast said.

Spanish-language television will also benefit from the non-recurring soccer World Cup.  Both Univision and ESPN will be broadcasting all 64 games live, for the first time in the U.S.

Local broadcast is forecast to grow In addition to grow 16%. It is expected to get the get the bulk of political spend in the mid-term elections, plus incremental spending from insurance companies, healthcare institutions and government, in connection with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act.