Looks like local cable TV advertising beat out over-the-air TV spot sales for revenue growth in Q1.
The updated Kantar Media numbers released today show a 2.5% annual gain in spot TV revenue for local TV stations in Jan.-March 2012. Kantar Media doesn't track local/spot cable ad revenue, but drawing from cable company public financials, we reported earlier that the industry recorded a 5.5% revenue gain for Q1 2012 versus the prior-year comparable period.
That's good news for local cable advertising, because it suggests the medium isn't necessarily locked into the same macro-economic forces that dictate performance in local television at large. It suggests to us that cable may be benefitting from several forces that separate it from local over-the-air TV, including rising aggregate ratings for ad-supported channels plus the contribution of new-media offerings like local VOD insertion and interactive ad enhancements. Those categories are sometimes maligned in the press for their false starts are presumed lack of scale, but quietly, cable companies have been racking up impressive numbers in advanced TV ad categories. Comcast Spotlight, for example, said it has run more than 1,000 local advanced ad campaigns for clients.
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