TVB Lowers Ad Spending 2009 Forecast

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For only the second time in its history, the Television Bureau of Advertising Tuesday issued a revised forecast for broadcast advertising spending in 2009, predicting a 7% to 11% decline in total spot TV advertising revenue next year.

TVB originally predicted only a 2% to 5% decrease. It also pegs national spot advertising sales falling somewhere between 11.5% to 15.5%—worse than the 7% to 10% slide it originally projected. The not-for-profit trade association now expects local spot ad sales to slip between 4% and 8% next year, compared to an original forecast of between a 2% increase to a 1% decline.

Tuesday’s revision marks only the second time the TVB has revisited a forecast—the first time came after the 2002 forecast was rendered inoperative by the World Trade Center attacks six days after it was issued.

Furthermore, TVB estimates that total 2008 spot revenues will decline 7.1% over last year, instead of coming in flat as was forecast in September.

“Due to the unprecedented economic developments of recent months, we reached out to all of our input sources and asked them to review the projections they gave us last summer,” TVB President Chris Rohrs said in a statement. “These are not happy numbers to report, but they are the new reality. We take seriously our obligation to our Member Stations to give them the most accurate road map as they work through their planning.”

Rohrs said that ultimately the 2009-10 landscape will be shaped by consumer confidence and spending, energy and food prices, debt and credit problems, the real estate market and the performance of the incoming Obama Administration. Key categories would be automotive, political, retail, telecom and financial.

TVB estimates—derived from a consensus of Wall Street and financial analysts, station representative firms, and independent TVB research—represent national averages. Individual firms and stations may produce varied results based on a number of factors, including market size, region of the country, and affiliation.

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