Second half buoys '07 Aussie ad market

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SYDNEY -- Australia's commercial TV stations booked more than AUS$3.7 billion ($3.25 billion) in advertising revenue for 2007, following a robust second half that saw year-to-year revenue increases of nearly 10% flow to the sector, industry body Free TV Australia said Tuesday.

Ratings leader the Seven Network was the biggest beneficiary of the lift in ad revenues, with an overall share for the year of 38.76%, although its share of the industry's second-half tally unexpectedly slipped to 38.35%, from 39.2% in the first.

Year to year, however, Seven's share was up by almost 3%.

It was the opposite story for the second-ranked Nine network. Alongside a drop in ratings, Nine's revenue share slumped to third overall, with 30.81% behind the youth-targeted Ten network. Ten's share rose to 30.84%. It's the first time Nine has placed third in revenue share and marks a dramatic shift from four years ago when it had more than 40% of the TV ad market.

Ad revenue in Australia's regional markets grew 10.83% year to year, while growth in the metropolitan markets came in at 9.03%.

With pay TV revenue for 2007 expected to be in excess of AUS$200 million ($177.89 million) and revenue from hybrid public-commercial broadcaster Sydney Broadcasting System of more than AUS$10 million ($8.9 million) factored in, Australia's TV ad market should surpass the AUS$4 billion ($3.56 billion) mark for the year, when advertising research organization the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia releases its figures next month.
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