Report: TV’s Dependence On Ads From Sports and Politics Is Growing

sochi olympics

Ad boost from one potential source, healthcare advertising, has only been modest, according to study from Kantar

The U.S. media-industry economy has long hinged on whether the Olympics and/or political elections are part of a fiscal year, but a new report from ad-tracker Kantar suggests the sector is growing even more dependent on ad revenue related to sports and politics.

According to Kantar, ads related to sports programming and elections accounted for 18.3% of measured TV ad spending in the year 2006, 18.7% of measured TV ad spending in 2008, 20.1% in 2010, and 22.4% in 2012.

In 2013, without an Olympics, third-quarter spending on network TV advertising plunged 17.9%. according to Kantar. Without elections, third-quarter spending on spot TV advertising – the favored TV platform for politics – sank 15 %.

It’s no secret that the U.S. media sector – from owners of big national broadcast networks to owners of local stations, typically see a boost in ad revenue every other year, as the Summer or Winter Olympics air and draw an outsize amount of advertising from sponsors hoping to promote to large audiences. Likewise, bigger elections tend to occur in the same time frame, providing a boost to the economies of local TV stations, which provide the venue for most battles between political campaigns.

Kantar suggested a much-hoped-for boost in ad spending by health insurers due to the advent of the Affordable Care Act has increased only modestly through the end of September.

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