National TV Ad Spending Rose 2% in November: SMI

But still down 3% overall; NFL revenue steady

National TV advertising spending rose 2% in November, according to new figures from research company Standard Media Index.

But so far this year, TV ad spending is still down 3%

Spending on the broadcast networks was up 1% in November, and cable spending increased 3%. That left broadcast down 4% for the year and cable off 2%.

Sports programming was strong in November, with spending up 5%. Despite lower ratings, revenue from NFL broadcasts was up 2% in November, thanks mainly to one more game being aired in the month, compared with a year ago.

SMI said the average price of a 30-second commercial in an NFL football games rose to $473,775 from $468,434 a year ago. And while ratings are lower, networks are using fewer spots to cover audience shortfalls. Only 21% of the spots in football games in November were makegoods, compared with 22% a year ago, when lower NFL ratings were more surprising.

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Bigger gains in sports came from more college football games airing, particularly on Fox.

News was strong in a post-election year, generating a 1% increase in spending for November. Entertainment programming was also up 1%.

Without the Olympics, spending on sports is down 11% so far this year. News is up 8% year-to-date, and entertainment programming is down 1%.

Among cable networks, the most money was spent on ESPN, which was up 3% in November. TBS, AMC and HGTV were each up 7% in spending, and Nickelodeon was up 4%.

Among the broadcast networks, spending on NBC gained 16% and CBS was up 1%. ABC was down 5% and Fox dropped 13%. NBC got boosts from This Is Us and coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show.