Political advertising fueled a 13% increase in local TV ad revenues last year, to $20.8 billion, details BIA/Kelsey in newly-released data. Certain markets which featured heavily-contested campaigns saw significant jumps: for example, the Wisconsin markets were up by more than 40% overall, while the Ohio markets experienced an average increase of almost 38%. While online properties saw rapid growth, over-the-air (OTA) delivered a healthy increase of 12.8%, up to $20.2 billion. With revenues growing faster than expected last year, the researchers project spending to “normalize” this year.
That is, OTA revenues are expected to drop by about $1 billion, or 5%, although online revenues will continue their upward trend. In 2014, ad revenues will rebound, projected to grow by 6.5% to reach $21.2 billion, which would be their highest level since 2007.
Although OTA revenues are expected to fluctuate during the next 5 years, online revenues should continue their steady growth, adding $0.1 billion to the pie with each passing year.
The report also notes that 97 stations were sold last year, close to double 2011’s 50. But, average sales price dropped by 11.3%, as the total value of stations sold was $11.9 billion last year versus $1.1 billion in 2011.