Wired TV's shares of ads grows in '98-'99 season

Cable networks are taking up a bigger piece of the national television advertising pie, according to the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau.

The cable nets’ share of all national TV ad revenues increased almost 3% to 28.3% in the 1998-99 TV season from the prior year, according to CAB’s analysis of recently released Competitive Media Reporting data. The gain cut into the ad revenue of both the broadcast nets and syndication, whose shares declined by 2.6% and 3%, respectively.

The shift marks the first time that broadcast nets slipped below a two-thirds share of national TV ad spending. Still, nearly 62% of national TV ad revenue goes to broadcast nets, with less than 29% being channeled to cablers.

Cable’s currency

“This shifting of ad dollars to cable is reflective of marketers’ growing recognition that cable is the most effective way in TV to target educated, upscale audiences,” said CAB president and CEO Joe Ostrow.

CAB estimates that total cable net ad revenues will climb to $9.6 billion in 2000, up 17% from 1999.

The Television Bureau of Advertising countered the CAB with a report showing a reversal of primetime broadcast audience erosion, with an 8% primetime ratings gain over the 1998-99 season.

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