Obsession with politics propelled news viewing, already a sizable portion of live and same-day TV universe, to a 12% gain in 2017 compared with 2016. Sports programming, once thought to be impervious, declined 6% last year even when the Rio Olympics are taken out of the year-to-year comparison. The findings are contained in a new report by Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser.
Pivotal Research Group estimates that traditional, linear local TV broadcast advertising — excluding political ad revenues — will sink 2.2% in 2017, to $15 billion. This will be followed by another 4% decline in 2018 to $14.4 billion; a 4.2% decline in 2019 to $13.8 billion; a 4.5% drop to $13.2 billion in 2020; and a 4.7% pullback to $12.6 billion in 2021.
Domestic ad revenue in 2017 is on track to increase 4% to 5% in 2017, thanks to growth from internet-based companies, according to Pivotal Research Analyst Brian Wieser. A group of 10 large web firms, including Google, Amazon and Expedia, increased their spending on sales and marketing by a median growth rate of 24% in the most recent quarter, he said in a note to investors.
Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser downgrades the entire publicly traded advertising sector in a note to clients today. “With reduced price targets, we continue to rate each of them ‘Hold,’” he says,.“challenges that became much more visible by the middle of last year are likely to compress expansion in years ahead vs. prior expectations.”
During April, 82.3% of homes watched CBS, followed by 79.8% of homes watching each of ABC and NBC and 74.4% of homes watching Fox. In the year-ago period, the figures were 83.9% for CBS, 82.8% for ABC, 83.3% for NBC and 79.5% for Fox.
Although scripted/unscripted TV program viewing has faced recent challenges — generally down by mid-single digit percentages across many networks — sports programming continues to fare a bit better. For the year so far, Pivotal Research Group reports that year-to-date, national TV sports programming viewing is off just 1%.
Some cable networks from major TV cable groups continue to struggle — losing high percentages of their respective subscriber bases. Nielsen’s April subscriber figures showed declines for Viacom’s Spike (7.2%) and CMT (10.4%), according to Pivotal Research Group. Spike will be rebranded as the Paramount Network, one of a core six networks new Viacom president/CEO Bob Bakish said the company is focused on.
Total TV viewing — boosted by OTT service and Internet-connected TV — grew on a total day basis in October. There was a 2% gain in average household viewing and a 1.2% hike among 18-49 viewing. Primetime viewing showed smaller hikes — 0.4% among household viewing and a 0.3% decline in 18-49 viewing.
Total commercial TV impressions among 18-49 viewers continue to climb as a result of still-rising commercial advertising loads for most TV networks. C3 impressions (the average commercial rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing) among 18-49 viewers grew 3.2% in the third quarter of this year over the same period a year ago, according to analysis from Pivotal Research Group.
Commercial advertising loads per hour continued to rise in August — up 2.4% — with total TV commercial impressions up slightly at just under 1%. The average number of minutes per hour devoted to advertising grew to 10.9 from 10.6 in August 2015, according to Brian Wieser, senior research analyst at Pivotal Research Group.