Television Revenues Down 2% in ’07, but 11% Growth Forecast for ’08

January 14, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Media & Entertainment | Television

The television industry’s revenues declined amid relatively small numbers of individual station sales in 2007, reflecting a typical odd-year national election cycle – but a potentially stellar presidential election TV revenue year is in the works, according to a quarterly report.

2007 television revenues were $22.2 billion – a 2% decrease from $22.7 billion in 2006, according to the fourth edition of BIA Financial Network‘s quarterly Investing In Television Market Report (via MediaPost).

In 2007 there were sales of 294 stations for an estimated $4.6 billion, compared with 202 sold in 2006 for a price of $18.1 billion (credited in large part to the sale of Univision and four NBC stations).

BIAfn predicts television station revenues in 2008 will climb in total by as much as 11% – a ten-year high – due to the political advertising surrounding the presidential elections and hotly contested Congressional races and several state referendums:

bia-television-revenue-growth-rates-1997-2011.jpg

DMAs spread across the country will see revenue increases by as much as 12% in states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia South Carolina, Maine, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada, and southern California, BIAfn predicts.

The impact of the elections is evident on the following map* showing estimated percentage changes by television DMAs:

bia-tv-revenue-growth-projection-us-map-07-08.jpg

“Despite the constant buzz of new media alternatives television will prove itself to be a hot medium in 2008. Not only because it’s fail-safe but because it delivers viewers in a very targeted, local way,” said Mark R. Fratrik, Ph.D., VP of BIAfn.

“The national and statewide elections will reinforce the strength of the local television market, which is the only media that can provide mass audiences in an increasingly fragmented marketplace.”

According to BIAfn, the top station transaction through 2007 was News Corporation’s announced sale of eight television stations to Oak Hill Capital Partners for $1.1 billion in markets that included Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Milwaukee.

The second-largest transaction of the year was Lincoln Financial Media’s sale of three stations in Charlotte, NC, Richmond, VA, and Charleston, SC to Raycom Media for $583 million.

“We believe the total transactions occurring in 2007 are indicative of the continued interest in some groups for acquiring television stations,” Dr. Fratrik said. “Today’s stations sales are simply designed to fulfill the current strategic objectives of the company rather than a focus on long-term strategy. This pattern is expected to remain in 2008.”

*A PDF of the map is available for download.

About the data: The 2007 Investing In Television Ownership Report published by BIAfn and the fourth quarter edition of Investing In Television Market Report profile all 210 television markets (plus Puerto Rico) and offer television market projections through 2011.

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