Screen Digest doubles growth forecast for TV ad spend to 4.6%

Analysts are now forecasting that year-on-year growth in the UK television advertising market is set to double.

Britain's Got Talent  - Susan Boyle
Britain’s Got Talent – Susan Boyle

Screen Digest’s advertising team also expects ITV to enjoy an increase of up to 20% during the second quarter of 2010.

Screen Digest predicts that the UK TV market will grow by 7% year-on-year in the first half of 2010 in its latest report.

However, it warns that this growth is driven by a set of factors that are unlikely to sustain in the second half of the year. It cites advertising scheduled around the football World Cup in June; marketing strategies placing an emphasis on the first six months of 2010 and tougher year-on-year comparisons with the second half of 2009, as reasons why across the year the growth figure will be 4.6%.

It also points out that COI, the UK’s single biggest advertiser, will have to restrict its airtime buying before the general election in May. This will slow growth in Q2, bringing it in line with the 7% rate of the previous quarter. Screen Digest says that, depending on the winner of the election, “COI is likely to be spending either less – or considerably less – on advertising”.

This combined with the knowledge that many advertisers have planned their advertising budgets to focus primarily on the first half of the year has led to the forecast of a “cautious” 4.6% overall growth in ad revenues for the entire year.

The report shows that ITV’s revenues fell 9% year on year in 2009, Channel 4’s revenues dropped 10.5%, Channel Five 23% and BSkyB 8.1%.

By the end of 2009, thanks to flagship shows such as Britain’s Got Talent (pictured); increases in spend on its digital channels and sponsorship, ITV increased its ad market share to 44.2 per cent, almost twice that of the next biggest player, Channel Four, which commanded 23 per cent.

Screen Digest believes that the major TV broadcasters will end 2010 with significant increases in TV ad revenue with ITV up 4.6per cent from £1.3bn to £1.4bn; Channel 4 up 4.8% from £706m to £740m; Five by 4.2% to £251m and BSkyB by 4.7% to £295m.

Daniel Knapp, advertising analyst at Screen Digest concludes “We’re cautiously optimistic that the UK market will grow 4.6%, and that is a good performance in these challenging times.”

ZenithOptimedia has just revised its quarterly global ad spend forecast to show a 2.2% jump for 2010.

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