Study: 2008 Station Web Revenue to Be $1.2B

Borrell Associates Releases ‘What Local Media Web Sites Earn’

TV stations’ online revenue is expected to jump from $772 million last year to $1.2 billion in 2008, reported a new study from Borrell Associates.

Borrell’s “What Local Media Web Sites Earn” surveyed more than 3,100 local media properties, including 613 TV stations in the United States and Canada.

The study sees eye-popping growth for local online media in general. “Local Web sites continue to ride a wave that defies even the most optimistic forecasts,” it said. “Local online revenues are growing at a phenomenal rate of 50% this year -- even more astonishing considering that retail sales have suffered such a sharp drop.”

Most of this growth, Borrell said, comes from pure-play Internet outfits selling low-cost advertising and connecting with consumers via Web searches.

Borrell predicted $13.1 billion in “local online advertising” for the year, up from $8.7 billion last year. Newspapers are slated to grab $3.7 billion of the 2008 pie, more than triple broadcast’s total.

Still, several stations bested the major newspaper properties in their markets: The Borrell study mentioned KOB Albuquerque, N.M., and its 423% online advantage over the leading local newspaper, followed by WMUR Manchester, N.H. whupping the Union Leader paper by 208%.