Broadcast TV ratings continue to fall, ad sales go down with it

Craig Lloyd - Mar 25, 2013, 12:43pm CDT
Broadcast TV ratings continue to fall, ad sales go down with it

It may be no surprise that people are favoring web video and streaming TV shows over regular television nowadays, but while both cable television and broadcast television are taking a hit, broadcast TV is seeing a steeper decline in ratings this season, and that’s forcing advertisers to rethink what avenues to advertise on.

According to various analysts, it’s expected that advertisers are going to spend more of their ad dollars on cable television and web video outlets like Hulu. It’s expected broadcast networks’ dollar volume could drop by 2%, while cable television’s volume could rise about 5%. Of course, these aren’t huge gains or losses, but every percentage point matters, especially when you’re facing lower ratings.

However, CBS CEO Les Moonves says that ad demand for broadcast television (at least for CBS) is growing, and Moonves expects CBS to lead in “volume and CPM increases” this season. However, ratings have taken a dive at all four big television networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) since the start of the fall season back in September.

Specifically, among viewers ages 18 to 49 ( which is the demographic that’s most prized by advertisers,) the average numbers for primetime audiences were down 23% at FOX, 7% at NBC, 3% at CBS; and 8% at ABC. However, CBS was the only major network to see an increase in overall viewership this season, with a 2% rise.

[via The Wall Street Journal]

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