ABC, CBS, NBC's ad revenue down 21 % for Q3

MUMBAI: Combined ad revenues for US broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC were down by 21.5 per cent for the third quarter and by 8.3 per cent for the first nine months of 2005, when compared to last year's results.

Total net revenues of $2.2 billion for the third quarter of the year ended 30 September 2005 were down by approximately $605 million from the third quarter of last year, led by a $707 million decline in sports advertising.

When compared with results from third quarter 2003 total net revenues for the quarter were four per cent higher, with sports advertising down by slightly more than one per cent.This data is contained in a report put out by the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association's (BCFM) report on figures compiled by Ernst & Young.

Categories that gained ground when compared with last year's third quarter results included prime time, which was up by 8.5 per cent and the AM daypart,up by six per cent. The AM daypart was higher by more than seven per cent for the first nine months of 2005, followed by year-to-date gains in news, up three per cent, and prime time, up by $87 million over last year to-date results for 2004.

The children's category was down by more than five per cent for the quarter and 12 per cent for the year-to-date.



The report notes that while the dramatic decrease in network advertising revenues for the third quarter is shocking it is not surprising. The loss of over $700 million in ad revenues from sports programming caused by the lack of a Summer Olympics this year was to be expected, though it is still a large number.

At the same time, prime time revenues partially lessened that impact with nearly $100 million more in revenues. Still, the networks need to be concerned as to the long term growth history. Looking back to 2003, another year without a Summer Olympics, the total network revenues have increased only by three per cent per year, above the inflation rate but lower than the overall economic growth of the US.


BCFM provides education, networking, information, and signature products to meet the diverse needs of financial and business professionals in the broadcast, cable and electronic media industries throughout the US and Canada.

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