BIA: 2018 TV Station Revenue to Reach $27.68B

Forecast driven by strong political and digital advertising projections
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CHANTILLY, VA—BIA Advisory Services—a provider of data-centered market research, analysis, strategic consulting and valuation services for the local media industry—projects that local TV station revenue will reach $27.7 billion, up from $26.2 billion in 2017.  

BIA Chart

Anticipating higher ad revenues driven by political ads, BIA Advisory also projects $18.2 billion for over-the-air ad revenue, up 5.8 percent—and $1.1 billion for digital revenue, up 6.3 percent—compared to 2017. And retransmission consent agreements between local TV stations and cable/satellite companies will contribute another $8.4 billion to the industry’s total revenue this year.

“This year will be particularly interesting to watch in terms of political and digital. Local television is at a juncture where strategic decisions will be key to their success,” said Mark Fratrik, senior vice president and chief economist at BIA Advisory Services. “We anticipate political advertising will generate significant ad revenue for local television this year, in particular for over-the-air revenue. Of all media, television still dominates in political years, even as campaigns integrate more digital advertising into their overall strategy.”

[Read: Global Consumer Spending On Entertainment Media To Reach $439B By 2021]

BIA Advisory claims that the local TV industry is offsetting flat over-the-air revenues by expanding its multiplatform advertising to deliver content more effectively in today’s multi-touch point content ecosystem. The firm estimates that location-targeted mobile ad spend will be $22.1 billion in 2018, which includes $3.1 billion of additional mobile advertising sold by traditional media players, including TV broadcasters and other traditional media.

“Mobile advertising is a smart play for television because it offers a unique opportunity to leverage existing assets, such as news and weather, through sponsored mobile websites and applications,” Fratrik adds. “These types of efforts are important as over-the-top—or OTT—services continue to attract viewers.”

BIA Advisory published these findings, along with a comprehensive profile of all 210 television markets plus Puerto Rico, in the first-quarter edition of its “Investing In Television Market Report,” as well as its software database, Media Access Pro, an analytical data service that delivers comprehensive information on the radio, TV and newspaper industries. BIA also delivers nationwide and local market forecasts in BIA ADVantage, a local market intelligence dashboard.