Cable Networks Gain Audience, But Advertising Dollars Lag

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As I learn about the TV business, one thing that I find interesting is that broadcast TV advertising is still able to command an “eyeball” premium vs. cable networks. As a fan of efficient markets, I wouldn’t figure that could continue forever, but it has lasted this long, and inertia is a very powerful force.

Here is some juicy data from a MediaPost story, advanced by the folks at Turner Broadcasting research who always seem to on the leading edge when arguing for cable network advertising parity (my emphasis in bold):

While ad-supported cable has a 60% share in total viewers in prime time, it only gets 29% of TV’s prime-time advertising dollars. The six broadcast networks pull in 40% of the prime-time viewers, and get 71% of the ad dollars.

So far this season, ad-supported cable has grown 5% in the number of hours per week to 16.7 hours, versus 15.9 against the key 18-49 viewers. At the same time, the four broadcast networks dropped 5% to 7.5 hours per week.

lots more where that came from at MediaPost

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