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Nets get gold in 3Q ad revs

Primetime, kid programming the only declines in the 3Q

NEW YORK — The 2004 election and the Summer Olympics in Athens helped drive up combined 3Q ad revenues at ABC, CBS and NBC by more than 32% over the previous year, a gain of nearly $694 million.

Total ad revs exceeded $2.8 billion, according to a report released by the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Assn. (BCFM). Accounting firm Ernst & Young compiled the numbers.

Primetime and children’s programming were the only categories that saw ad revenue declines in the 3Q.

Advertising in the sports category totaled roughly $1 billion, up a staggering 214% over 3Q 2003. Much of that money went to NBC, which carried the Summer Games and reaped between $60 million and $70 million in profit.

The national election, which culminated last week in President Bush’s victory over Democratic opponent John Kerry, also energized 3Q ad sales in the news category. Revenues totaled roughly $144.4 million, up 21% over the same frame last year.

Primetime ad revenues totaled $1.1 billion, down 3.6% from 3Q 2003. Revs in the tykes’ category registered $8.2 million, down 2.1%.

Like sports and news, morning network shows saw healthy gains in the 3Q. Taking in $164.1 million in ad revenues, ayem TV was up 10.3% over last year.

Daytime took in $191.8 million in ad revenues, up 3.2%. Latenight was relatively flat over 3Q 2003, taking in $138.9 million.

According to BCFM, total net revenues for the first nine months of 2004 were up by 15.7% when compared with 2003. While primetime showed a dip in the 3Q, it is up by more than $274 million for the year when compared with the first nine months of 2003.

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