Report cites college football moving to ESPN as

U.S. advertising spending on broadcast TV will be flat in 2011 compared with the previous year, according to a revised forecast issued Wednesday by media buyer/planner ZenithOptimedia.

Back in April the firm had projected a 3% increase, which it reconsidered in light of underestimating the amount of college football that would move to ESPN. ZenithOptimedia also sees broadcast spending decreasing 1% in 2012 despite the presidential elections due to Comcast’s pledge to air less time-delayed Olympics programming on TV in favor of the Internet.

Not coincidentally, cable and Internet will see increases of 10% and 12.6%, respectively, in 2011, according to the forecast — enough to give cable a bigger share of ad dollars than broadcast. Syndication is expected to fall 2%, with 8% drops projected in the year ahead as the sector faces the loss of Oprah Winfrey.

However, the revised estimation on broadcast won’t be that much of a drag on overall domestic ad spending, for which ZenithOptimedia sees a 2.1% increase for in 2011, down from the 2.5% it forecasted in April.

“Although recovery will continue, the economy still has not returned to the level it was at before the recession, and neither has advertising spending,” according to the report.

A slightly rosier future expected in 2012 and 2013, with increased expected north of 3%. The global ad spend–projected at $471 billion in 2011–will be up 4.1%. Softness in the U.S. and Europe will be compensated for by strong growth in the Asia Pacific region.

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