National cable ad sales surpassed the $22 billion plateau last year, according to Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau calculations.
In its final figures for 2011, CAB estimated that national cable networks generated a collective $22.1 billion during 2011, a 7.8% increase from $20.5 billion in 2010. Last year's level marked an 18.1% jump from the $18.7 billion national cable networks recorded in 2009.
CAB attributes the uptick to growth during the upfront selling season for the 2011-12 TV year, strength in the scatter market and the industry's continued commitment to original programming.
"In staying close to agencies and advertisers throughout 2010 and 2011 we knew Cable's role as primary driver in the media plan and marketing mix would increase to new heights," said CAB president and CEO Sean Cunningham in a statement. "Agencies wanted details on original programming, cable's ratings strengths by programming/target genres, and proof points around the cable brands' multi-screen vitality -- all of which are measures that the cable nets thrive in."