National TV advertising in the US among the major media companies is set to grow this year, despite media companies reporting lower or weak advertising sales.
Indeed, according to Pivotal Research Group, the market will see 2.5% US domestic advertising growth by the end of 2014. Brian Wieser, senior research analyst at Pivotal, told Media Post that national TV has outperformed the broader advertising market, with first-quarter ad revenue up 3%.
“On our current read, US media owners advertising underlying annual growth (excluding incremental Olympic and political advertising) was around 1% in second-quarter 2014 versus slightly more than 2% in first quarter of 2014,” he said. “We would note that if national TV grew at 2% as we think it did, it means that the medium continued to gain share of ad spending, rather than lose share as many believe.”
Cable nets brought in more than their broadcast compatriots. He said that the main pay-TV network conglomerates (AMC Networks, Comcast, Discovery Communications, Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox, Scripps Network Interactive, Time Warner and Viacom) together on average grew by 4.4% in the second quarter and a healthy 4.7% during the first quarter. Broadcast networks offset that growth though, with the Big Four (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) declining around 4% in the second quarter.
Ultimately though it’s a sprint, not a marathon. “While this is indeed a slowdown, when put in context of a full year, where growth rates can easily deviate by several percentage points between the quarters, we don’t see this as particularly meaningful in context of our expectations for the medium,” Wieser concluded.