More people continue to watch TV or other forms of video in the midst of the pandemic, but Madison Avenue is spending fewer dollars to dazzle them.
National TV advertising fell 9% in June to $3.2 billion, according to Standard Media Index, a continuation of negative trends that have been in place since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March. But the June figures show losses narrowing: the 9% figures come after a 19% dip in May and a 28% tumble in April.
“In June, we saw that some advertising budgets are beginning to return to normal,” said James Fennesy, global CEO of Standard Media Index, a tracker of ad spending. “With the gradual return of televised live sports and businesses and restaurants starting to reopen we expect results in the coming months to strengthen.”
National TV ad spending fell 19% in the U.S. during the second quarter.
SMI attributes the June malaise to a lack of televised sporing events as well as an increased paucity of original programs. June contained few of its usual sports offerings, which normally include ABC’s NBA Finals, NBC’s Stanley Cup Finals and regular-season Major League Baseball on Fox, ESPN and WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports. As a result, national ad spending on sports dropped by 60%, according to SMI. Ad spending placed behind non-sports programs increased 2%, however, buoyed by interest in news programming.
ViacomCBS captured 19% of national ad spend in June, according to the company, followed by NBCUniversal at 18%; Walt Disney Co. at 13%; Discovery at 13%; WarnerMedia at 10%; Fox at 6%, A+E Networks at 5% and Univision at 4%.
In fact, some media owners saw June ad revenue increase. At A+E Networks and WarnerMedia, ad revenue grew at each by 6%. Univision gained 5%. With NBA Finals postponed, however, Disney’s ad revenue fell 36%. Fox saw ad revenue fall 17% and NBCUniversal saw ad revenue fall by 10%, according to Standard Media Index. ViacomCBS saw ad revenue fall by 1% and Discovery saw ad revenue fall by 2%, SMI said.
National news networks saw the largest gains in advertising revenue, with CNN’s rising a whopping 86% and Fox News Channel’s growing 55%. MSNBC’s ad revenue rose 10% in the month.
But many networks reliant on entertainment or sports saw more difficult trends. ABC, normally reliant on the NBA Finals, saw a 51% decline in ad revenue in June, while sister network ESPN saw ad revenue drop 20%. USA ad revenue was off by 17%. At Fox Broadcasting, ad revenue fell 39%, while NBC’s ad revenue was off by 11%.
Others fared better. According to Standard Media Index, ad revenue at CBS rose 12% in June, while HGTV ad revenue as up 7%. Ad revenue at BET climbed 7%. Univision’s ad revenue hiked 5%. Food Network’s ad revenue was up 1%, while ad revenue at WarnerMedia’s TBS was flat.