That’s the consensus of station groups and industry watchers surveyed by TVNewsCheck. The downturn is fully expected as political advertising dries up as it always does in odd-numbered years. However, the reforecast for 2016 is down from the last fall’s original prediction because political spending has not been as strong as expected.
With billions of political dollars coming their way, TV stations’ spot revenue will grow 13.5% next year, according to TVNewsCheck‘s annual survey. The gain would be much greater if stations could only figure out how to get more than 2% growth from all their other ad categories.
According to broadcasters, reps and analysts surveyed by TVNewsCheck, that lower total for next year is due to a number of factors, including a soft national spot marketplace, a weak network upfront as well as uncertainties about leading ad sectors like automotive, telecommunications, retail and fast food. Driving core growth will be auto and telecom, which are predicted to rise 3.9% and 3.6%, respectively, compared to 2014.
According to broadcasters, reps and analysts surveyed by TVNewsCheck, most of spot’s growth next year will come from political advertising from campaigns and advocacy groups. That money will be more evenly disbursed than it was in the presidential election year of 2012, when it was concentrated in 10 battleground states. Next year will see 30 Senate and 30 gubernatorial races. In addition, advertising related to Obamacare will add $1 billion to the top lines of broadcasters over the next two years. Driving core growth will be auto, which is predicted to rise 5.8% compared to 2013.
According to broadcasters, reps and analysts surveyed by TVNewsCheck, the revenue driver at TV stations next year will be automotive, which our survey participants say will be up around 8%. In addition, core advertising displaced this year by political advertising will return. The big difference in 2013, of course, will be that dropoff in political ad money following this year’s elections. But while the category will be like a “desert” compared to this year, there may be an unusually large amount of issue advertising in the first quarter as the government grapples with budget and tax issues.