TV Networks Up On-Air Promos During Pandemic, Impressions Higher 05/18/2020

by Wayne Friedman , 8 hours ago TV networks are dramatically increasing the number of on-air promo messages for their programs and brands during the current pandemic -- while paid advertising has dropped.

U.S. TV networks, broadcast and cable, have aired 32% more promos -- 533,779 airings -- in the period from April 18 through May 17 and 23% higher to 511,655 the previous 30 days (March 18-April 17), according to

The two previous months witnessed a 13% increase to 465,948 airings (January 18 to February 17) and 17% more to 440,291 (February 18-March 17).

Starting with the COVID-19 shutdown in mid-March -- with regards to business closures and stay-at-home state orders -- there has been a dramatic slowdown in national TV advertising, as well as a rise in overall viewership.

National TV advertiser inventory placed on TV networks has been estimated to have dropped 20% to 25% -- in terms of cancellations or postponement -- during the last two months.



In addition, there has been a gain in impressions from networks’ on-air promotions during the last two months -- up 19% to 93.5 billion impressions (from April 18 through May 17) and 22% to 100.1 billion impressions (from March 18 through April 17).

Top broadcast networks in terms of on-air promo airings over the last 30 days were: Fox, with 8,133; ABC, at 6,422; NBC with 5,216; and CBS, at 3,834. Top cable networks: Discovery Channel, 26,083; Food Network, 24,970; Nickelodeon, 15,367, and TLC Channel, 15,020.