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Olympics Pushes Broadcast Ad Revenue Past Newspapers

The windfall from the election and the Olympics will push broadcast TV ad revenue past newspapers for the first time in U.S. history, according to Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a media investment concern in New York. The shift is also due in part to declining revenues at newspapers and just a slight uptick of less than 3 percent anticipated in the broadcast industry.

VSS said last year, newspapers generated nearly $52 billion in ad revenue compared to $48 billion by broadcast television. This year“s estimates are $51 billion for broadcast and $47 billion for newspapers, which together comprise roughly 45 percent of all ad dollars spent across the country.

Broadcast will not rule the ad landscape for long. VSS said the industry would be supplanted by the Internet in less than four years. By 2012, VSS estimates that “pure-play Internet and mobile services” will generate more than $72 billion in revenues, while broadcast TV is projected to do around $59 billion. However, a portion of those Internet and mobile revenues will go to broadcasters as they extend content to those platforms.