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Green shoots bloom as TV ad revenue continues to head in right direction

As Westpac chief economist Brendan O’Donovan said at a CAANZ/ANZA seminar ‘Nurturing the Green Shoots earlier this year, when economic times are tough, they’re usually much worse in the marcomms  sector. But, conversely, when things start looking up, it reacts faster than the economy. And, judging by the just released third quarter television advertising revenue figures from the New Zealand Television Broadcasters council (as well as the outdoor results released last week) the long-awaited upswing appears to have cometh.

Ad revenue for TVNZ, MediaWorks TV and SKY Network Television (including Prime) for the third quarter was $164.7 million, an increase of $16.7 million or 11.3 percent from the $148 million achieved in the third quarter of 2009. It’s also the third consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth for the industry.

For the first three quarters of 2010, television has seen revenue growth of $30.6 million over the same period in 2009, an increase of 7.6 percent over the first three quarters of 2009. It’s certainly good news for TV, but it’s not quite back to the giddy heights of 2007, when total revenue reached $654.4 million for the year. Also, even with a $30 million rise, the ASA’s ad spend figures released in March 2009 showed that total television advertising revenue had dropped by 12 percent to $570m over the year, which was a decline of $77m over the previous year, so it looks like there will still be a bit of a gap to be made up.

At the time the ASA figures were released, TVNZ’s advertising revenue was $284.3 million, a decline of $14.1 million (4.7 percent) on the year prior. But its recent financial results show that the national broadcaster has held firm with a 60 percent share of total TV ad revenue.

Rick Friesen, NZTBC chief executive, says television viewership continues at record levels and, with the Rugby World Cup just around the corner (and playing on every channel imaginable), he says TV can be expected to continue to show strong growth.

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