TVB Revises Forecast to Reflect Bad Economy

First revised forecast since 9/11 attacks sputs Total Spot Revenue declines at 7% to 11%.

Indicating just how bleak many see the year 2009 for the television business, the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) has revised its 2009 forecast just over two months after issuing its predictions.

Its first forecast, released in September, called for a Total Spot Revenue decline between 2% and 5%; the new forecast suggests a drop of 7% to 11%.

The initial forecast put Local Spot Revenue at minus 1% to 2% in 2009; the revised forecast sets the slip at 4% to 8%. The revised forecast calls for a National Spot Revenue decline of 11.5% to 15.5%—also a substantially worse picture than was originally drawn up.

The only other time the TVB, a trade association representing over 600 stations, revised its forecast was in 2001; that forecast was issued six days before the 9/11 attacks.

TVB also forecasts Total Spot Revenue for 2008 to drop 7.1%. In September, it predicted a flat finish for total spot, with the Olympics and political money cancelling out the economic headwinds.

“Due to the unprecedented economic developments of recent months, we reached out to all of our input sources and asked them to review the projections they gave us last summer,” said TVB President Chris Rohrs. “These are not happy numbers to report, but they are the new reality. We take seriously our obligation to our Member Stations to give them the most accurate road map as they work through their planning.”

The TVB forecast comes from a consensus of financial analysts, station representative firms and independent research.