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How downturn is affecting TV ad sales

Marketplace Staff Mar 16, 2009
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How downturn is affecting TV ad sales

Marketplace Staff Mar 16, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: Party season is underway for cable TV channels. Upfront season has begun. If you work in the industry, your calendar is booked from now until May. Upfront events are a chance for stations to show-off their latest programs. They invite advertisers, trot out stars, some cheese plates, and hopefully companies buy some ad time. The question is whether that TV time is going to sell during a downturn. Amanda Aronczyk has this report.


Amanda Aronczyk: The Superbowl is giving TV companies hope. NBC says it made more from advertising during the big game than ever before.

But Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says NBC had to scrounge for revenue:

Mike Reynolds: Those last few commercial spots were not sold til the day of the game. So that’s a little different than the way things have been.

Ad sales have been tepid across the industry says Mark Gall. He’s the VP for ad sales for BBC America. But he’s not worried:

Mark Gall: We’re not changing our plan of attack at all.

Gall’s confident that BBC America can win advertisers, even in a recession.

Aaron Cohen of Horizon Media buys ad space for companies. He says most TV companies have no idea how much advertisers will be willing to spend.

Aaron Cohen: We’re in a period where there are a goodly number of advertisers who really are in a perplexed state as to what they can do with their total advertising budgets for the coming year.

Cohen says advertisers won’t buy as much ad space in one go as they have in the past. So it could be a long time before TV channels know how much money they’ll make.

I’m Amanda Aronczyk for Marketplace.

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