Net revenues for the "Big Three" networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) are up just 1.6
percent through the first nine months of the year to $7.7 billion, according to
figures compiled by Ernst & Young LLP and released by the Broadcast Cable
Financial Management Association (BCFM).
For just the third quarter, ended Sept. 30,
revenues are up 7.6 percent to just over $2 billion.
The third-quarter bump is due in part to the days of ad-free programming that
followed the Sept. 11 disaster last year.
Year to date, news, kids and daytime advertising are
all down double-digits, according to the E&Y figures.
Prime time is down 7 percent (to $3.8 billion) and late-night is down 5
Early morning (Today and its competitors) is flat at $453 million,
while sports advertising is up 40 percent due to the Olympic Games in February.
"Despite a healthy third-quarter performance and a
recent influx of new advertisers, there is every reason to be cautious regarding
the fourth quarter with the economy still wavering and automakers seeing slowing
sales," BCFM managing director W. Charles Warner said.