TV Ad Spending Rose 3.3% in Second Quarter

New SMI research shows cost of cable spots in prime up 10% vs. last year

Spending on national television advertising rose 3.3% in the second quarter from a year ago, according to new figures from research company Standard Media Index.

In addition to its spending data, SMI now is reporting information on how much individual ad units cost, based on the data it gathers from the computer systems of media buying agencies representing about 70% of U.S. media spending.

On cable, the average unit in prime was up 10% to $8,370, with the biggest growth on Sunday night, when AMC’s The Walking Dead and other original programs air.

Cable spots in daytime rose 8% to $1,413.

On broadcast, 30s of ad time cost $114,100, down 5% from a year ago. Spots on Wednesday night were up 21%, probably because of the performance of Fox’s hit Empire, which just finished its second season. Broadcast ads in the morning were down 4% to $32,500 on average, while late fringe spots were down 10% to $26,400, SMI said.

SMI's data show that overall spending on broadcast was down 2.5% in the quarter, while spending on cable rose 6.5%.

“This new market data clearly shows the end of the recent digital growth spurt, and that many of the dollars returning to television are first going to the lower CPM cable sector, as broadcasters need to more fully document their ROI advantages to offset these CPM differences," James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO, said.