BIA: TV Needs New Ideas to Create New Revenues

CHANTILLY, VA.: TV industry revenues will fall below the $20 billion mark this year for the first time since 2003, according to BIA. The media advisory firm is projecting overall industry revenues of around $17 billion, a 21 percent drop from the $21.5 billion recorded in 2007.

“Since 2003 TV revenues have held steady but are now beginning a dramatic downward shift. This corroborates our calls for transformation as the only path to expansion for the industry," said Mark Fratrik Ph.D., vice president of BIA Advisory Services. “This will come from cross-platform growth and real energies put into finding local advertising revenues available through mobile and online advertising.”

BIA said it found positive revenue in several markets last year due to fierce presidential and congressional campaigns in battleground states. Those gains buffered the decline in 2008 revenues, down 6.6 percent to $20.1 billion.

Analysts at BIA forecast a slight positive revenue increase in 2010 of 0.6 percent, attributed to an election year and a recovering economy. Preliminary forecasting expects a dip into the negatives again in 2011 before a solid return to positive revenue streams in 2012. That year is when BIA research for the NAB FASTROAD project estimates that an additional $1.1 billion in ad revenues alone could come to local television stations from mobile DTV. -- Deborah D. McAdams