Media buyer ZenithOptimedia's new forecast for global ad spending is more optimistic, and cable TV is a bright spot in the U.S.
In a report released Monday, ZenithOptimedia said that "cable networks will continue to build momentum -- especially those seen as an alternative to broadcast prime" such as USA Network, TBS, TNT and FX.
After a strong upfront, prices have been increasing in the scatter market and several networks nearly sold out in the third quarter. Zenith expects cable revenues to be 8% higher this year than in 2009, and projects gains of 9% for 2011 and 7% for 2012.
The media agency also increased its predictions for spot ad spending. Zenith expects spot to be up 10% in 2010, and 3% in both 2011 and 2012. In July, Zenith expected spot to be up 6% in 2010, 2% in 2011 and 3% in 2012.
Zenith is maintaining its previous estimate that broadcast will grow 5% in 2010 and projects that growth will slow to 2% in 2011 and 1% in 2012. While scatter prices have been up, retailers have not increased spending as much as hoped, Zenith said.
For overall TV, Zenith sees all of TV rising 7.4% in 2010 and 4.2% in 2011 (current prices). For all major media, in the U.S., it sees a 2.2% growth rate this year and 2.1% in 2011.