Olympics to lead global TV ad surge

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BRUSSELS -- Worldwide net advertising revenue for television will swell 5.8% this year to $123 billion, defying widespread fears of an overall economic downturn, according to a report by industry analysts Informa.

The growth will be led in part by the Beijing Olympic Games in August, helping 2008 surpass last year's 3.5% growth.

The North American market has the largest share of the total pay TV advertising market, at 62%, but this is expected to fall as other regions gain.

The forecast comes despite other industry predictions that advertising is set for a downturn in 2008. News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch has indicated his pessimism about the U.S. economy, for example.

The Informa report said that by 2012 global TV advertising will reach $148 billion, up 21% from 2008. "Pay TV advertising will grow faster -- up 39% over the same period -- to reach $25 billion by 2012, or 17% of total TV advertising."

The U.S. still has considerable influence over the global market, bringing in $43.2 billion in 2007 -- or 35% of the world's total. Japan, the world's second-largest market but home to a sluggish economy, will see net TV advertising grow only 12% between 2007 and 2012. The fastest growing territories are Russia and Romania, which are forecast to double their totals, and rapid growth of is also expected in India and Indonesia.

The global average for net television advertising per TV household is running at more than $100. The U.S. will be highest at $380 in 2008 while China will be the lowest at $10.
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