FTA ad-spend still flat

Two separate reports have outlined that advertising spend on free-to-air TV is still – at best – flat, and in some markets local FTA broadcasters are suffering significant shortfalls.

According to figures from Kantar Media, broadcast TV in the USA is down 5.2 per cent because of weaker primetime ratings. Broadcast ratings were also hurt because high-rated NCAA Basketball ‘Final Four’ games aired in April this year, rather than March.  Gains were, however, recorded by cable TV – which was up 5.2 per cent, and Spanish-language TV – which jumped 13.5 per cent.

“Data from the early second quarter is mixed, suggesting marketers are still being cautious and conservative with ad budgets. However, there are some bright spots, including healthy growth for Hispanic media and outdoor,” said Kantar.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley, in a report for clients, says it has spoken to a dozen FTA broadcasters throughout Europe, who say – in general – advertisers [are] cutting budgets much deeper than expected in Q1 and feel less compelled to take money out of the market aggressively in Q2/Q3 and that this current cycle is even more volatile than during the period 2007-2010.

However, the general trend, says the bank, is for improving trends with rates of decline slowing in France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.

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