On a nearly 76 percent spending increase by automotive advertisers, spot TV is leading the recovery in TV, up 20.8 percent to $3.5 billion in first quarter, according to a Television Bureau of Advertising analysis of data from Kantar Media.
Network TV was up nearly 11 percent to $7.2 billion, while syndication dipped 13.2 percent to $954 million. Combined, broadcast TV grew 11 percent to $11.7 billion in the quarter.
After years of dismal spending, auto advertisers returned to the top two positions on the list of local TV's top advertisers. Across the board, automakers ramped up in first quarter, fattening local TV budgets with double digit increases.
Chrysler Group, the top advertiser, increased spending by 108 percent to $103.2 million. No. 2 spender, Ford Motor Dealers upped its budget by 71 percent to $79.6 million. General Motors, the ninth largest local TV advertiser, spent $42.4 million, 382 percent gain over the same period a year ago.
Of the top 10 advertisers, only No. 3-ranked Verizon Communications decreased spending, cutting its budget by 1.2 percent to $77.6 million.
All of local TV's top 10 ad categories increased spending in the quarter. The 12th largest local TV category, government and organizations, (which includes political) is starting early, up a healthy 17.4 percent to $96.7 million.