Buffeted by the Sept. 11 attacks, ABC, CBS and NBC reportedly suffered a collective record loss of $880 million in advertising revenues for the third quarter, a slide of 28.6% from the same period in 2000.
Reuters reports the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Assn., which compiled the figures, said the quarter-to-quarter dropoff is the worst it has ever recorded.
Buz Buzogany, president and CEO of BCFM, attributed the record decline not only to the lousy advertising market -- made even worse by the September tragedy -- but also to the fact that the 2000 Summer Olympic Games (news - web sites) from Sydney helped inflate the numbers in some dayparts a year ago.
And there doesn't appear to be any end in sight to the grim revenue figures in the fourth quarter, Buzogany said.
The two dayparts that survived the red-ink onslaught in the third quarter were primetime, which was up by 10.14%, and latenight, up by 9.94%. Buzogany said primetime and latenight got a lift because they were somewhat off in the year-earlier period as Olympics telecasts were pulling a great deal of advertising money out of entertainment programming in these dayparts.