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Network TV ad revenue expected to grow in 2014

December 17th, 2013


News broke last week that should be music to the ears of those in network television and, more importantly, the viewers who want to make sure they get to see those networks’ programming. Based on numbers from 2012 and 2013, the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference sees an advertising growth of 7.7% for network TV in the coming 2014 year — a serious growth over the 2% from 2013.

Analysts blame the surge on the coming Winter Olympics and heavily contested political races that will come to a head in the last quarter of 2014. Political contributions to PACs and Super PACs has risen greatly in the last few years, and the 2014 elections could see the largest amount of money spent on campaigns in history.

This is obviously good news for network television and the Big Four networks of NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox, but viewers shouldn’t shrug this off as only the rich getting richer. There’s been much anxiety over the last few years, especially with the explosion of online subscription programming from HULU and Netflix, over whether or not old school network TV programming was going to last.

Much like how longtime readers of Newsweek were notified last year that they would have to access their printed magazine subscription through new technology such as Tablets or Smartphones, there have been concerns over whether longtime TV shows would up and relocate to online subscriptions. Many viewers who aren’t tech-savvy and aren’t interested to online subscriptions would be left without much of a choice to follow whatever shows they enjoy.

It’s been speculated that network television and most channels have been raising their rates mostly due to the increase in internet advertising, and therefore falling advertising numbers for old school television. This has caused tensions between channels/networks and providers like Comcast, other cable companies and even satellite providers. Viewers have seen contract squabbles and threats from both sides to dump content over the last few years.

But the forecast for 2014 is good news for viewers who want to keep watching their favorite shows through their normal cable provider. Time Warner Cable recently settled a dispute with CBS, after temporarily dropping the channel for the first time in their history. And just last month Dish Network confirmed new contracts throughout the nation with several stations owned by Media General, and also forged temporary agreements with ABC and Disney.

While tv contracts and distribution will continue to change in the internet age, the boost in ad revenue in the coming year bodes well for the future of standard network television.

Categories: Channels & Shows

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