Ad spending on national TV rose 2% in May to $912 million, according to new figures from Standard Media Index.
The figures are another sign of renewed vitality of the TV advertising business in the face of streamers pulling away viewers and digital competitors drawing ad dollars. TV networks have been seeing strong demand from advertisers during the ongoing upfront ad market, with volume apparently up and primetime commercial prices increasing by 12% to 16% on a cost-per-thousand viewers basis.
Broadcast ad spending was up 5.1% to $1.2 billion, driving by golf’s PGA tournament moving to May from August this year.
National cable ad spending was up 0.5% to $2.4 billion.
“We continue to see strengthening conditions in the second quarter for the National TV market after a soft first quarter, even factoring in the Olympics inflated annual comparison. In fact, May 2019 has delivered its strongest seasonally adjusted result since we began measurement. This reinforces the continued power of National TV and is in line with results being achieved in recent Upfront negotiations,” said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index.
Spending on sports programming was up 4.7% to $600 million due to the golf tournament being rescheduled. Spending on entertainment programming was up 1.4% to $2.6 billion and news was up 1.2% to $400 million.
Broadcast entertainment spending was up 1.6%, powered by the series finale of CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. Revenues generated by the concluding episode were up 27% from a year ago.
SMI draws its spending data from invoices received by most of the world’s biggest media buying groups, accounting for 70% of all agency spending.