Total revenues were up in the third quarter for the 'Big Three' broadcast
networks, helped by big gains in the sports category and prime time.
Sports also gets the credit for year-to-date increases over 2001, which
continue to be attributable to this past February's Olympic Games.
ABC, CBS and NBC combined for total gross revenues from time sales of
$2,369,137,000 for the third quarter, up 7.5 percent versus the third quarter of
2001, according to Ernst & Young LLP figures released by the Broadcast Cable
Financial Management Association.
The quarter helped to send revenues into positive territory versus the same
period last year. Combined total revenues year to date are $9,046,910,000, up
1.57 percent over the same time last year.
The biggest third-quarter increase was recorded by sports, with revenues of
$380,221,000, up about $90 million, or 31.6 percent.
Prime time was up 8.8 percent in the quarter to $1,313,053,000; morning was
up 9.5 percent to $157,197,000; late-night was flat at $139,459,000; and daytime
was down 2.1 percent to $233,998,000.
Children was down 13.5 percent to $412,142,000, and news was the biggest
loser, off 22.5 percent to $133,067,000, with revenue down more than $38
BCFM said the Winter Olympics continued to 'prop up' the year-to-date
numbers. Sports is up 39.6 percent, or $667 million, for the year to
$2,349,148,000, while prime time is down 6.9 percent to $4,507,041,000,
late-night is down 5.2 percent to $473,463,000, daytime is off 10.6 percent to
$713,720,000, news is down 14.35 percent to $435,492,000 and children is way
down (20.8 percent) to $35,102,000.
Morning is the only daypart that gained year-to-date, but it is up only a
tenth of a percent to $532,944,000.