Both broadcast and cable TV operators are projecting strong results through the end of 2010. Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible analyst says that broadcast finished the 2nd quarter with a 5.9% increase over last year. And cable saw revenue growth of 13.4%. Wible also pointed out that while the scatter market was bringing rate increases of up to 15–20%, the “upfront deals may provide an 8%-9% pricing increase base to grow off with the start of the new broadcast season.”
Cable networks have indicated such a strong interest in their media space that up to 99% of 3rd quarter inventory had been sold by mid-August. A similar picture is expected for the 4th quarter. One driver of demand has been financial-services companies looking to reach families and students before they head out to college campuses. In addition, auto manufacturers are rolling out more models this fall – up to 60 new models “compared to only 30 last year” writes Clair Atkinson for the New York Post. The increased activity in the automotive sector may explain the strong demand for spots in the sports space.
There’s some uncertainty about which way the economy is headed as we approach year-end and 2011. But to avoid paying higher rates in the 4th quarter, marketers might be making their year-end purchases now. Regarding the economy, David Levy, chief of Turner Broadcasting's ad sales, says "[p]eople still have to sell their product." This is especially true during the all-important holiday season.[Sources: Atkinson, Claire. Top-tier cable see ad boost. New York Post. 19 Aug. 2010. Web. 3 Sept. 2010; Szalai, Georg. TV ad sales looking solid for second half. HollywoodReporter.com. 19 Aug. 2010. Web. 3 Sept. 2010]