Broadcast-TV revenue was down 4.4% in 2007 and 5.6% in the fourth quarter vs. comparable periods in 2006. That's according to the Television Bureau of Advertising, which cited TNS Media Intelligence/CMR data. Local broadcast TV was down a whopping 17.2% for the quarter.
The TVB attributed the full-year drop to the lack of Olympic Games and election-year political dollars in an "odd" year.
Of course, there were presidential-election dollars in the fourth quarter of 2007, but those were primarily in New Hampshire and Iowa, spokesman Gary Belis said, and were nothing compared to 4Q 2006, which included House, Senate and gubernatorial races in the run-up to the November election.
Local broadcast-TV revenues were down the most at 9.5% for the year, followed by syndication, down only 1.5%, and network TV, down 1.2%.
For the quarter, behind local broadcast's double-digit drop was a 7.9% drop for syndicated TV and a 1.9% drop for network TV.
Helping to explain the pounding local TV took in the fourth quarter were the spending declines for nine of the top 10 local advertisers, including a 20% decline for top advertiser General Motors, a 32% cut by American Honda Motor (the No. 4 advertiser) and a 28% decrease in spending by Toyota Motor Sales, No. 5 on the list.
Belis points out that there is a typical feast-famine cycle between even years with elections and Olympic advertising gold and those without.