Broadcast TV advertising drops 11.9%

Spot TV in the top 100 markets cratered

The Television Bureau of Advertising on Friday released its broadcast TV crunch of the TNS Media Intelligence ad spending estimates put out earlier in the week.

Total broadcast TV, including spot TV, syndication and network TV, dropped 11.9% to $10.5 billion in first quarter.

The decline was driven by spot TV in the top 100 markets which cratered, falling 27.6% to $2.89 billion. In stark contrast, network TV dipped 4.8% to $6.5 billion, while syndication inched up 0.2% to nearly $1.1 billion.

Spending in nine of local broadcast TV's top 10 ad categories was down, led by automotive, down 52.1%. Not a single auto advertiser increased spending. The biggest decline was General Motors, which spent nearly 78% less in first quarter, slashing its budget from $73.6 million to $16.4 million.

Verizon was the top advertiser in local TV, increasing spending by 13.9% to $78.5 million, followed by General Mills, which spent $54.1 million, a 41.6% gain.