Ad dollars spent on local TV fell to about $3.97 billion in the first quarter, down from about $4.04 billion in the year-earlier period, TVB said. Meanwhile, ad spending on syndicated TV increased 11.2% to about $1.1 billion from about $986.8 million, and spending on network TV increased 1.7% to about $6.85 billion from about $6.73 billion. Ad spending on broadcast TV in total increased 1.4% during the period.
Car dealership cutbacks
Local broadcasters appear to have been hit by auto dealership associations -- a long-standing and perennial advertiser on local TV stations -- pulling back on their ad spending.
The TVB said General Motors Corp. Dealers Association spent 23.6% less on local TV, while Toyota Motor Corp. Dealers Association trimmed its spending by 9%, Honda Motor Co. reduced ad outlays on local TV by 29.8% and Chrysler reduced local-TV ad spending by 11.7%. All are among the top 10 spenders on local TV stations. Even so, Ford Motor Co. Dealers Association raised its spending by 28.9%. AT&T, another top 10 local-TV ad spender, reduced local-TV ad spending by 28.8%, the TVB said.
In all, automotive ad spending, the No. 1 ad category for local stations, fell 13%, while spending by car and truck dealers was off 3.6%. Financial advertising fell 5.5% and spending by furniture stores was off 5%.