Without the heavy political spending, total spot revenue fell 17.4% in the third quarter year-over-year, according to Matrix Solutions, the business software firm. Core revenue was dragged into negative territory by weakness in a host of categories, including quick service restaurants (down 42.5%), retail (down 28.5%), legal services (down 22.5%) and telecommunications (down 6.2%).
3Q 2013 Spot Recap: Total, -17.4%; Core, -1.2%
Feeling the full effect of the political advertising comps, total spot revenue dropped 17.4% in the third quarter compared to the same quarter last year, according to Matrix Solutions.
Core revenue, which factors out political spending, was also down compared to 2012, but only 1.2%.
The comparison with 2011 are much brighter. Total was up 6.4%, while core rose 7.5%.
Matrix is a Pittsburgh-based supplier of customer relations and sales management software. Its quarterly local TV sales report, exclusive toTVNewsCheck, is based on sales data from more than 400 client TV stations. It includes revenue from station-specific websites and digital subchannels.
The auto spending continues to be strong, rising 4.6% in the quarter, thanks mostly to a 21.3% gain from local dealerships (tier 1). That and a 5.8% increase from dealer associations (tier 2) more than offset a 17.6% drop in direct spending from the auto makers (tier 1).
“Matrix has been predicting that automotive will continue to grow through at least 2013 and that seems to be happening,” said Matrix President D.J. Cavanaugh.
The strongest category was casual dining. It was up 134.3% over 2012 and 153.7% over 2011.
Another bright spot was services. It was up 50.4% for the quarter.
But core was dragged into negative territory by weakness in a host of other categories, including quick service restaurants (down 42.5%), retail (down 28.5%), legal services (down 22.5%) and telecommunications (down 6.2%).
Healthcare was off 14.1%, despite the roll out of Obamacare.
“Many people are expecting a rise in healthcare advertising, but Matrix hasn’t seen it in 2013, with a few market-specific exceptions,” Cavanaugh said.
Broadcast TV Sales, Third Quarter Comparisons
|Category Group||2013 vs. 2012||2013 vs. 2011|
|Auto — Tier 1||-17.6%||-7.2%|
|Auto — Tier 2||+5.8%||+80.5%|
|Auto — Tier 3||+21.3%||+20.5%|
|Financial, Insurance, Real Estate||-0.9%||-4.5%|
|Government & Organizations||-50.4%||-34.0%|
|Home Stores & Products||-8.5%||-13.3%|
|Leisure & Entertainment||+6.1%||+7.5%|
|Restaurants — All||-9.5%||-19.7%|
|Restaurants — Quick Serve||-42.5%||-51.0%|
|Restaurants — Dining||+134.3%||+153.7%|
|SOURCE: Matrix Solutions|