Networks’ Revenue Drops 2 Percent

NEW YORK Combined advertising revenue for the ABC, CBS and NBC television networks was down 2 percent for both the second quarter and the first half of 2005 versus the same periods in 2004, according to a report by the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association, based on figures compiled by Ernst & Young.

The three networks tallied combined net revenue of $2.85 billion for the second quarter, down approximately $52 million from the second quarter of last year. For the first half of 2005, revenue at the networks totaled $5.73 billion, $113 million less than the first half of 2004.

The association points out that much of the drop is due to the fact that last year included NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics and political advertising across the TV dial (a fact now true for all odd-year versus even-year comparisons).

Comparing this year to 2003, the first half of 2005 was up nearly 7 percent, or more than $152 million, according to the association’s ad revenue reports.

Association president Mary Collins said the networks’ revenue performance was “on track with industry estimates.”