Let’s Get Through This Together

By Erin Koller

Is it just us, or does every day feel about 100 hours long? And in each of those hours we’re confronted with terrifying news, cancellations, frightening statistics, and new vocabulary like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve”.

Those of us who are new to remote working are struggling to figure it out, fighting with uncooperative technology and coworkers who just don’t understand how to use the mute button, all the while dealing with kids that have been out of school for a day and are already “so bored!”.

And of course, most profoundly, we’re worried. Worried about the media business, our employees, and our coworkers. Worried about our economy, on a global, national, state, and local level. Worried about our friends who run the restaurants and small businesses that power our communities. And of course, deeply worried about the health of our loved ones and ourselves.

So many people write articles like this and say that “we’re living in unprecedented times”. But in truth, global pandemics have happened before. And humanity has soldiered on. We will make it through this too, though likely changed, hopefully for the better.  

The best we can do is plan ahead as best we can, but also take it one day at a time. And so that’s what we’ll do with our forecasts below: we’ll provide our best to estimate what we think will happen to our numbers, but knowing that we can’t predict the future, we’ll be ready to change as new information arises. We’ll be recommending that you do the same on your calls.

In the meantime, ShareBuilders is here for you like we’ve always been. Your consultants are flexible, ready to reschedule or skip a call or find some other way to accommodate your unpredictable needs. We’re working remotely as well, and understand that you might be scrambling to balance work and childcare. We don’t mind the barking dog or the whining toddler in the background – you’ll probably hear ours too. We’re in this together, and together we’ll make it through to the other side.

ShareBuilders TV Forecast

 

L+N TV
Q1 -6.1%
Q2 -13.3%
Q3 1.4%
Q4 -3.6%

 

Jan Feb Mar Q1
Local -2.1% -5.9% -10.0% -6.0%
Natl -0.8% -7.2% -10.0%

-6.2%

L+N -1.7% -6.3% -10.0% -3.2%

 

April May June Q2
Local -15.0% -15.0% -8.0% -13.0%
Natl -17.0% -15.0% -10.0%

-14.5%

L+N -15.5% -15.0% -8.4% -13.3%

 

TV Forecast Observations

 

Q1 Local

Week-to-Week Pacing Changes

Not surprisingly, Local Q1 pace took a sharp dive over the last week, dropping 1.1 points.

March itself lost 3.1 points, with the biggest drops coming in the last couple of days as cancellations from advertisers and the loss of major sporting events like March Madness have started to hit the books.

Forecast Updates

It’s highly likely that March will continue to fall, particularly as not all of our stations have preempted the sports and other events that they’re losing. We don’t know this for sure, but we’ll drop our previous -1% March forecast to -10%, assuming that all stations continue to work backwards from here.

Our forecasts are now:

  • -2.1% for January
  • -5.9% for February
  • -10.0% for March – down 9.0 points from last week
  • Quarter at -6.0% – down 3.0 points

Q1 National

Week-to-Week Pacing Changes

National Q1 pace dropped 1 point this week, with March down 3.2 points.

Forecast Updates

Again, we’re estimating how much March will fall from here, but we certainly don’t see it adding any real money for the rest of the month. As such, we’re lowering the forecast 7.5 points to -10%:

  • -0.9% for January
  • -7.5% for February
  • -10.0% for March – down 7.5 points
  • Quarter at -6.2% – down 2.5 points

Q1 Local + National

Our combined forecast drops 2.9 points to -6.1% thanks to the big March drop. It looks like March Madness going away is the most significant reason for the drop, but cancellations from travel-related advertisers, local events, and movies are other common themes.  

Q2 Local

Week-to-Week Pacing Changes

Local Q2 lost 4.4 points. April fell by 6.1 points, May by 3.6, and June by 2.8.

All categories show the declines.

Forecast Updates

We are hopeful that the most painful effects of the coronavirus occur earlier in the quarter, certainly most prevalent in April, but also affecting May. We don’t know what the future holds. Some predict that we will feel the greatest pain through the summer months, but for now, we’ll be more conservative in April and May and a little bit less conservative in our June forecasts.

These numbers could be too low, but they could be too high; we need more data before we can say for sure.

Many of our stations have not yet preempted the spots sitting in baseball, golf, basketball, and more. They will certainly do their best to hold on to that money in other programming, but we should expect more declines in pace as that revenue comes out.

For your part, you will want to continue to evaluate your own comfort for risk – if you’re ok running tight should things turn around sooner, get more aggressive for sure. If you’re protecting for political or just don’t see evidence that things will get this bad, stay higher.

Our forecasts now sit at:

  • -15.0% for April – down 9.5 points from last week
  • -15.0% for May – down 13.0 points (remember that May looked weak before the coronavirus effect)
  • -8.0% for June – down 6.5 points
  • Quarter at -13.0% – down 9.7 points

Q2 National

Week-to-Week Pacing Changes

We expected Q2 pace to fall due to the clear earliness of the billing this year versus a late 2019, but of course the coronavirus has forced bigger declines that will likely continue. The quarter fell 10.3 points Monday to Monday.

April lost 10.4 points, May 8.8, and June 11.9.

Forecast Updates

As in Local, we’re guessing here, but predicting that April and May see bigger effects from cancellations than June. We’re making the following changes to each month, which interestingly just means that the quarter would be breaking like early 2016.

  • -17.0% for April – down 13 points
  • -15.0% for May – down 11.5 points
  • -10.0% for June – down 7.5 points
  • Quarter at -14.5% – down 11.1 points

Q2 Local + National

We’ve lowered our Q2 core forecast 10 points to -13.3% today. You think that’s bad? At first we were going to estimate more like a -19%, but decided that might be too extreme for now. To be honest, we don’t have data to tell us what to do here, all we can do is guess. We might be too low, but we want to encourage our customers to make realistic estimates of where things could go from here, and therefore we’re modeling that behavior in our own forecasting.

On the more positive side of things, as one of our consultants shared with our team earlier this week, you’ve never had a more captive audience than you do right now. People are starving for news, even though it may not be good for their mental health, which might in turn lead them to your entertainment programming as a distraction. Use this to your advantage! Sure, it may not make sense for the travel industry or events to advertise, but there are a lot of categories that would be a perfect fit, as long as they have the money to spend. It’s a good thing that fear of programmatic killing the human salesperson role hasn’t yet come true (we never thought it would), because your sellers are more important than ever. A human touch (while standing 6 feet apart, or better yet, on the phone!) is your strength right now.

Pricing In Uncertain Times

 

Today’s Efficio Spotlight becomes even more relevant, considering what’s going on across the country as more and more people are being asked to work remotely.  The great news, as a cloud-based platform, Efficio was already more than capable of allowing its clients to work anywhere and access their data. 

Efficio is also available as a mobile app for both iOS and Android.  The app allows clients to seamlessly access Efficio on the go and works just like the current Efficio desktop platform.  The app includes all the same functionality and navigation. Using Efficio, you can use your computer, the web, and your phones to keep moving sales forward. Managers can help guide AEs, as they can see what is in the pipeline and offer assistance. While there may be less face-to-face interactions, business can still progress. And that is important!  Learn more about Efficio at www.efficiosolutions.com.

TV Pacing Charts Q1

      Jan Feb Mar Q1
    All SB TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -2.1% -5.9% -6.4% -4.8%
             
    ABC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.2% -2.6% -3.5% -3.1%
    CBS Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 6.8% -29.7% -9.5% -12.5%
    NBC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.5% -2.9% -4.9% -3.8%
    FOX Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -1.4% 50.9% -0.6% 14.6%
    CW Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.9% -9.8% -7.9% -7.2%
    MNTV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -8.0% -5.0% -12.8% -8.7%
    TV Independent Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -13.5% -12.9% -19.0% -15.4%
             
    Midwest TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.6% 3.3% -8.8% -3.1%
    Northeast TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 1.2% -8.1% -10.0% -5.8%
    South Atlantic TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -4.9% -6.7% -4.3% -5.3%
    South Central TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -1.5% -6.3% -3.2% -3.7%
    West TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -0.9% -12.8% -6.4% -6.9%
             
    TV DMA Rank 1→20 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -2.3% -16.6% -9.4% -9.7%
    TV DMA Rank 21→65 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -0.6% 7.0% -4.7% 0.4%
    TV DMA Rank 66→100 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -2.8% -11.3% -9.4% -8.0%
    TV DMA Rank 101+ Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.2% -1.5% -2.0% -2.2%
             
    All SB Radio Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 6.3% 3.4% 15.4% 7.7%
      Jan Feb Mar Q1
    All SB TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -0.8% -7.2% -6.7% -5.2%
             
    ABC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -1.8% -2.2% 1.0% -0.9%
    CBS Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 8.4% -45.9% -11.4% -20.6%
    NBC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -0.1% -6.7% -11.0% -6.3%
    FOX Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 2.5% 68.4% 1.4% 22.1%
    CW Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 7.3% 0.5% 0.7% 2.6%
    MNTV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.7% -6.8% -7.3% -6.0%
    TV Independent Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -13.0% -9.3% -15.1% -12.7%
             
    Midwest TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -2.0% 3.4% -9.0% -2.8%
    Northeast TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -6.3% -12.1% -8.3% -9.0%
    South Atlantic TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -2.4% -9.9% -1.6% -4.7%
    South Central TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -1.0% -6.2% 2.0% -1.8%
    West TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 5.2% -11.7% -15.7% -8.5%
             
    TV DMA Rank 1→20 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -6.5% -19.0% -13.0% -13.4%
    TV DMA Rank 21→65 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 4.2% 8.8% -1.5% 3.6%
    TV DMA Rank 66→100 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 2.0% -2.7% -5.6% -2.3%
    TV DMA Rank 101+ Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 3.6% -1.4% 0.9% 1.0%
             
    All SB Radio Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 23.2% 28.2% -11.9% 11.6%

     

      Jan Feb Mar Q1
    All SB TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -1.7% -6.3% -6.5% -4.9%
             
    ABC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -2.9% -2.5% -2.2% -2.5%
    CBS Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 7.3% -35.2% -10.1% -15.1%
    NBC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -2.6% -3.9% -6.7% -4.5%
    FOX Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -0.2% 57.0% 0.1% 17.2%
    CW Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -0.6% -6.7% -5.0% -4.2%
    MNTV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -6.5% -5.7% -10.6% -7.7%
    TV Independent Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -13.3% -11.8% -17.7% -14.5%
             
    Midwest TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 0.0% 3.4% -8.9% -3.0%
    Northeast TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -1.0% -9.4% -9.5% -6.8%
    South Atlantic TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -4.2% -7.7% -3.4% -5.1%
    South Central TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -1.4% -6.2% -1.5% -3.1%
    West TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 1.0% -12.4% -9.8% -7.4%
             
    TV DMA Rank 1→20 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.7% -17.5% -10.7% -11.0%
    TV DMA Rank 21→65 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 0.9% 7.6% -3.6% 1.5%
    TV DMA Rank 66→100 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -1.6% -9.2% -8.4% -6.5%
    TV DMA Rank 101+ Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -1.8% -1.5% -1.3% -1.5%
             
    All SB Radio Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 6.2% 13.6% -5.4% 4.5%

    TV Pacing Charts Q2

        Apr May Jun Q2
      All SB TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -5.7% -2.0% 7.1% -1.1%
               
      ABC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.1% 1.3% 14.9% 3.3%
      CBS Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -12.2% -3.6% 5.2% -5.0%
      NBC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -4.1% -3.5% 6.5% -1.0%
      FOX Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -4.2% -6.1% 5.8% -2.1%
      CW Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -5.8% -4.2% 2.7% -2.9%
      MNTV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -10.4% -8.2% 0.4% -6.5%
      TV Independent Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -22.3% -23.8% -17.1% -21.3%
               
      Midwest TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -9.3% -8.2% 1.1% -6.1%
      Northeast TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -0.7% 13.0% 17.8% 8.4%
      South Atlantic TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 1.6% 2.1% 16.7% 5.8%
      South Central TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -7.0% -6.7% 2.9% -4.1%
      West TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -9.7% -0.4% 5.5% -2.8%
               
      TV DMA Rank 1→20 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -4.8% 2.5% 10.1% 1.6%
      TV DMA Rank 21→65 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -6.2% -6.6% 7.1% -2.8%
      TV DMA Rank 66→100 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -11.1% -5.3% 4.5% -5.0%
      TV DMA Rank 101+ Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.9% -1.2% 3.6% -1.0%
               
      All SB Radio Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 0.1% -3.9% 5.4% 0.2%

       

        Apr May Jun Q2
      All SB TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -6.7% -8.0% -6.7% -7.1%
               
      ABC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 2.3% -5.0% 0.3% -0.7%
      CBS Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -9.4% 3.9% -3.7% -3.8%
      NBC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.2% -2.4% 0.6% -1.9%
      FOX Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -15.5% -28.7% -26.0% -23.0%
      CW Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -22.7% -25.6% -18.4% -22.6%
      MNTV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -7.2% 1.0% -6.4% -4.2%
      TV Independent Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -18.5% -27.5% -20.2% -22.2%
               
      Midwest TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -24.1% -23.3% -19.7% -22.6%
      Northeast TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -10.9% -0.8% 0.3% -4.6%
      South Atlantic TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 10.9% -5.1% -1.0% 2.1%
      South Central TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 7.9% 8.7% 6.2% 7.7%
      West TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -13.8% -14.7% -14.9% -14.4%
               
      TV DMA Rank 1→20 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -12.5% -7.4% -6.2% -9.1%
      TV DMA Rank 21→65 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -13.0% -20.6% -15.5% -16.3%
      TV DMA Rank 66→100 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -5.6% -1.4% -6.4% -4.5%
      TV DMA Rank 101+ Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 28.8% 16.5% 10.8% 19.4%
               
      All SB Radio Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -6.0% -13.9% -1.9% -7.8%

       

        Apr May Jun Q2
      All SB TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -6.0% -3.5% 3.7% -2.6%
               
      ABC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -2.0% -0.1% 11.4% 2.4%
      CBS Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -11.4% -1.8% 3.1% -4.7%
      NBC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.9% -3.3% 5.3% -1.2%
      FOX Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -7.3% -12.5% -3.1% -7.9%
      CW Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -9.7% -9.1% -1.8% -7.3%
      MNTV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -9.5% -5.6% -1.5% -5.9%
      TV Independent Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -21.3% -24.8% -17.8% -21.5%
               
      Midwest TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -12.8% -11.6% -3.6% -9.9%
      Northeast TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.2% 9.3% 13.2% 5.0%
      South Atlantic TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 3.7% 0.4% 12.7% 5.0%
      South Central TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -3.4% -3.2% 3.7% -1.4%
      West TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -10.9% -4.7% -0.8% -6.3%
               
      TV DMA Rank 1→20 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -7.0% -0.3% 5.4% -1.5%
      TV DMA Rank 21→65 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -8.0% -10.2% 1.4% -6.2%
      TV DMA Rank 66→100 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -10.0% -4.5% 2.1% -4.9%
      TV DMA Rank 101+ Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 1.6% 2.2% 4.9% 2.7%
               
      All SB Radio Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -1.5% -6.4% 3.7% -1.8%