Broadcasters face 'rocky ride' as agencies predict ad slump

LONDON - TV broadcasters, already facing up to an expected 3.5% decline in TV ad spend this year, are being warned that TV ad spend faces a "rocky ride" next year, with an expected double-digit decline in September set to have a knock-on effect for the year ahead.

High Street spree needed to boost TV ad revenues
High Street spree needed to boost TV ad revenues

The consensus estimate among agency broadcast directors is that TV ad spend will fall by around 5% year on year in August, followed by an expected slump in September of between 14% and 18%.

ITV1 is expected to take a 20% hit to ad revenue in September. Sources said its digital channels would reduce the decline slightly to between 15% and 17% for ITV’s portfolio.

ITV’s September TV ad spend was always likely to be lower than 2007, with last year’s Rugby World Cup attracting ad spend to the broadcaster. Channel 4’s core TV channel will not fare much better, with an expected 17% fall in ad revenue year on year in September. Five’s TV ad revenue is expected to fall by 11% in September.

Martin Plant, executive sales director at sales house IDS, said: I have never experienced something as stark as this. There has been a lot about the extended economic concern coming out around the summer, so advertisers have been looking at that and pulled back for September.


Sources estimate the TV market for the whole year to be down around 3.5% year on year.


One agency broadcast director warned: We are in for a rocky ride next year, but retailers could bring their sales activity forward for a pre-Christmas surge.


Mark Swift, sales director at Viacom Brand Solutions, said: I find it hard to believe that if the economy continues like this, the market will change for 2009.

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