TV ADVERTISING CUT BY HALF ON SEPT. 11

Memorial Services Dominated Bulk of Commercial-Free Broadcasts

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- TV advertising on Sept. 11 was less than half its normal volume, as some networks and cable chose to air commercial-free programming on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Advertisers spent

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only $57.8 million on TV, 54.6% below the $127.5 million average for the five days prior, according to estimates by Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. The biggest drops were on network and spot TV, which were down 57.3% and 57%, respectively. Cable advertising was down 45.8%.

Many broadcast outlets that chose to forego advertising did so during coverage of memorial services, thereby reducing time available for paid spots by 42.1%. The stations filled up the available time with public service announcements, the number of which that aired on Sept. 11 was 122.1% above normal.

In spite of the numbers, CMR executives are holding to their previous forecast of a modest 2.5% increase in ad spending for the year, noting ad dollars budgeted for the November election campaign and the holiday season will help boost year-end totals.

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