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Political Spending Fuels TV Ad Surge

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NEW YORK With political ad spending up 84 percent in the second quarter, overall advertising expenditures in local broadcast TV jumped 8.3 percent to $4.2 billion compared to the same period a year ago, according to figures released yesterday by the Television Bureau of Advertising.

Of the three broadcast TV segments, syndication posted the largest gain, up 18.4 percent to $977.1 million, while network TV was up 4.7 percent to $6.2 billion. Combined, total broadcast rose 7.1 percent to $11.4 billion in the second quarter.

Automotive, local TV's biggest category, and car and truck dealers, the segment's third largest ad category, were up a healthy 7.6 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively, in the quarter, for a total increase of more than $89 million. Among the advertisers significantly boosting budgets were Hyundai Corp. Dealers Association (up 62.1 percent) and Nissan (up 47.7 percent). Other top 25 advertisers that increased ad budgets include Comcast (up 73 percent), Berkshire Hathaway (51.6 percent) and Verizon Communications (26.4 percent).

For the first half of the year, total broadcast TV was up 8.6 percent to $22.6 billion. Local broadcast TV was up 8.5 percent to $8.2 billion; syndicated TV climbed 17.5 percent to $1.9 billion; and network TV rose 7.5 percent to $12.4 billion.