Political, Telco Dollars Drive Local TV Revs

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Washington was in the driver's seat when it came to driving up local TV revenues.

Local broadcast TV revenues were up 10.4% in the third quarter over the same quarter last year, helped by political dollars and telecommunications spending from companies seeking franchise reform from Washington as well as new customers for their service.

By contrast, network TV revenues were down .6% and syndicated revenues down 1.4%, for a total 3.8% increase in broadcast TV revenues over third quarter 2005.

Political dollars helped drive much of that increase--up by 182.1% to $207.3 million out of a total $442.5 million revenue increase of all local broadcast TV--but according to the Television Bureau of Advertising report of estimates from TNS Media Intelligence/CMR of the top 100 markets, there were gains in a number of ad categories across the board.

For example, the number one ad category, automotive, was up 9.7%; while number two, restaurants, was up 6.1%; and telecommunications, at number three, was up a whopping 30.2%, likely boosted by the fight over video franchise reform that had telcos spending millions on TV ads.

AT&T had the biggest single increase of any of the top 25 advertisers at 133.5%.

In all, nine of the top 10 ad categories posted increases over the same quarter last year, according to TVB.

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