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Political Ad Revenue to Boost TV in '06

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NEW YORK Revenue from political advertising will be instrumental in increasing TV revenue more than 7 percent to an estimated $22.2 billion, according to a projection released Wednesday by BIA Financial Network.

The gain is expected to offset last year's dismal TV revenue decline of 7.5 percent, reinforcing local TV's dependence on the cyclical category.

"Whereas the market used to be able to count on automotive advertisers increasing advertising expenditures every year, in some cases we're seeing those additional dollars moving to other, more contemporary media and television broadcasters have to rely on political advertising in even numbered years for any meaningful annual revenue growth," said Mark Fratrik, vice president of BIA.

Political dollars will be particularly welcome in the 71 TV markets where revenue decreased by 10 percent or more last year, such as Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which saw significant political revenue in 2004.

This story corrects and replaces an earlier item, noting that the total revenue for the local TV market could climb to $22.2 billion.