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Spot check is a quarterly survey of TV purchasing activity in the top 20 markets compiled by Horizon Media, New York. Markets are ranked by spot TV availability after second-quarter sales.

Top 20 overview: Second-quarter projected increases were up from 5% to 8%. Bill Koenigsberg, president of Horizon Media, said that "improved retail sales, several new-product introductions, beverage and political ads in many states can be attributed to the increase." While the second quarter finished in a virtually sold-out market, the third quarter started out sluggishly but will get a definite boost from political ads, automotive and beer for a projected increase of 3% to 5%.

VERY TIGHT-Sold out with short lead time.

Atlanta: Strong in all categories.

Boston: Fueled by beer, telecommunications, financial and retail.

Chicago: Automotive and retail tightened up the market.

Minneapolis: Heavy in political, financial and automotive.

Tampa, Fla.: Strongest in beer, beverages, retail, fast-food, airlines and domestic automotive.

Washington: Political and automotive locked the market up.

TIGHT-Time available but demand keeps prices stable.

Dallas: Telecommunications, entertainment and package goods kept the market healthy.

Detroit: Domestic automotive and fast-food were strong. All others were flat.

Houston: Airlines, fast-food, domestic automotive and financial were strong.

Los Angeles: Automotive, theme parks, supermarkets, beverages and retail were up.

Miami: The market is bouncing back from a slow first quarter with both automotive and fast-food strong.

New York: Retail, automotive, financial and fast-food were strong, package goods and entertainment flat.

Philadelphia: Political and automotive kept the market strong.

Phoenix: Financial, travel, telecommunications and proprietary drugs were up.

Pittsburgh: Political, automotive and retail were all strong.

St. Louis: Beer, fast-food and foreign automotive were up.

Seattle: Telecommunications, entertainment and domestic automotive were strong.

NEGOTIABLE-Time available at negotiable rates.

Cleveland: Package-goods spending decreased, retail flat, telecommunications flat.

Denver: Most categories flat.

San Francisco: Automotive, retail and package goods were flat. Telecommunications and financial grew.

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