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Long-Form DRTV

Long-Form Media Billings Slide 8 Percent in 3Q 2009

14 Jan, 2010 By: Thomas Haire Response


Third-Quarter 2009 Long-Form Billings in the Top 30 MarketsThe total number of timeslots purchased exploded with a 40.8-percent increase of 186,543 new slots, pushing its total to 644,209. This also broke the all-time record set in 2Q 2009 by 8,872 slots.

National cable grew 3 percent from an additional 4,282 timeslots, but lost 8.4 percent of its market share. Broadcast broke loose with a 51.5-percent leap, with a massive increase of 141,242 timeslots, more than doubling its 2Q 2009 70,722 gain, pushing its total to 415,617 — a sharp contrast to its $26.9 million loss in 3Q 2008. Broadcast also saw its market share expand by 4.6 percent. Satellite more than doubled its fortunes with a 102.1-percent increase thanks to another 41,019 timeslots, quadrupling its 3Q 2008 gain, to settle in a 81,192 and saw its market share grow to 12.6 percent of the total.

Media’s One-Third Off Sale
The avalanche of extra timeslots purchased in 2009 has pushed the average cost of a half-hour block of time down by one-third to a new all-time low of $378.58, dropping below the $400 barrier for the first time. This average cost is 34.6-percent ($200.51) lower than 3Q 2008. This number also falls 7.8 percent below second-quarter 2009’s then-record low of $410.50.

Top-30 Bargains
The sharp drop in the average cost of media has drastically reduced spending in the top 30 markets. Reversing 3Q 2008’s 38.3-percent increase in spending, 3Q 2009 is nearly the exact opposite. Spending in the top 30 markets declined by 38.6 percent, resulting in a $74.1 million loss, and fell to 48.4 percent of total spending, off nearly one-third from 3Q 2008. The top 10 markets suffered a $33.1 million loss, markets 11-20 markets fell $22.4 million, and markets 21-30 fell $18.6 million.

Flat Tire
Despite the heavy decrease in overall spending during the past two quarters, all indications are that 2009 will be another billion-dollar year for the long-form DRTV media space. A record first quarter and average second and third quarters puts the to-date total at $833.3 million.

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About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire




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