ShareBuilders TV Forecast

 

L+N TV
Q1 -7.6%
Q2 -41.5%
Q3 -19.1%
Q4 -5.3%
April May June Q2
Local -45.9% -40.7% -33.0% -39.9%
Natl -48.3% -47.5% -40.0%

-45.2%

L+N -46.6% -44.9% -35.1% -42.3%

TV Forecast Observations

 

Q2 Local

Week-to-Week Pacing Changes

Just a tiny little drop in Q2 Local pace this week of a tenth of a point, with May growing 1.2 points against June’s 2.1-point drop.
May’s improvement was seen across every affiliation, region, and market size category we measure!
Similarly, all categories saw the June pace decline, though the South Central lost almost nothing week to week.

 

Forecast Updates

As we had hoped, May has seen more growth in-month than it usually does, but of course, this May is anything but “usual”. Money coming from advertisers making late decisions to get back on the air and virtually little movement from here on out in May 2019 have contributed to small pacing gains, and we’ll probably see a little more from here.

June, however, will be complicated: you must brace yourself for cancels in addition to returning business. You all know that some advertisers pushed money from April-early May into June, or are only cancelling a couple of weeks at a time, hoping things would be better by June. But at least in most states, current circumstances don’t support certain advertisers staying on the air, particularly if it’s in the theme park, entertainment, or travel categories. Money will come off, but if this late-May activity is any indication, more will come to take its place.

With all of that in mind, we’re bringing up our May forecast again this week, but we’re holding June. June’s forecast allows for more pacing declines from 1.5 weeks out than May saw, and of course we hope there will be more gains. This means our June forecast could be too low, but you know that we’re aiming to be conservative right now. Here are the forecasts:

 

  • -45.9% for April
  • -41.7% for May – up 2.3 points from last week
  • -33.0% for June – flat to last week
  • -39.9% for the quarter – up 0.9 points

Q2 National

Week-to-Week Pacing Changes

On the National end, Q2 lost just half a point, and like Local, saw May up (1.5 points) and June down (4.2 points).

Again, just as in Local, all categories gained in May but fell in June.

Forecast Updates

As in Local, May has grown more than we expected it to, which is what we hoped would happen! There are still small cancels coming out for the month, but certainly more going in, which along with stalled May 2019 bookings leads to these pacing improvements. We now see the month finishing at least 2.5 points stronger.

As in Local, we should expect declines in June, probably near the beginning of the month. But we should also see continuing adds, and ultimately the month’s percent change should look better than May. We could be a couple of points higher or lower, depending on how business comes back.

Here are our forecasts for the week:

  • -48.3% for April
  • -47.5% for May – up 2.5 points
  • -40.0% for June – flat to last week
  • -45.2% for the quarter – up 0.8 points

 

Q2 Local + National

May’s small improvements are giving us reason to be optimistic about continued growth as we get into the summer. However, we should not assume any explosions of demand and will likely see things return more slowly than any of us would like.

Still, business IS returning. This is wonderful to see, but don’t ignore the likelihood of entertainment and tourism-related cancellations. Continue to add up what’s pending, but don’t forget to subtract the pending cancels and rate reductions as well.

It may be another few weeks to get to that “multiple steps forward, few steps back” scenario, though the return of political will hasten that progress in many markets. Until then, continue to think creatively about how you get wary advertisers back on the air, or new advertisers that could never afford you before. No one is getting tight yet, we probably won’t see that until August, but your regular calls with your consultants will help you see any developing problems.

For now, we’re calling Q2 Core to finish at -41.5%, up eight-tenths of a point from our last estimate.

Q3 Local + National

Q3 Core pacing is declining. We’ve never highlighted that chart before today because we don’t think it really tells us anything, but we know you’re seeing these patterns in your own numbers, and we’re here to tell you that this is all OK.

We don’t know much about what the future holds. No one does no matter how much they insist that they do, but the one thing that we do know is that Q3 bookings will be very, very late. This is why the Q3 pace is falling. Sure, some buyers are booking money as usual, but others that already booked are coming back and asking for rate reductions. In a normal year, buyers would be starting to really ramp up Q3 spending, but this year they’re just figuring out how to open their doors again. Coming back just takes time.

You don’t need us to tell you this, but this is not a normal year. Just as much as many of you need time to see how comfortable you are going to the beach or a restaurant over the summer, your advertisers are struggling to figure out the same. We all need to see how the next few weeks go, how June comes in (and what comes out) to get a better feel for Q3. News about returning NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL, NCAA would certainly give us some clarity.

But we don’t have any of this today. So we continue to recommend that you assume slow progress in returning business as we start to open up the economy again. When you know for sure that something is coming back – advertiser or sports or political – consider adjusting. But right now, no one is tight. We have room to be wrong, and time to adjust. Stay stronger priced in the dayparts that have been selling a little better than the rest in Q2, likely Morning and Early News, Daytime, and maybe Early Fringe. Stay competitive in Prime and Late News.

And then wait and be ready to adjust when the information changes. Until then, we’re holding our forecast for Q3 core at -19.1%. We’ll change that as soon as June changes or other returning business tells us to. Like you, we hope things come back faster and stronger, and we’ll be ready to shift if and when that happens. You’ll be the first ones to know.

What’s The Story, Inventory?

We are, still seeing the impact on inventory from coronavirus cancellations. We are all hoping for a turnaround, but as we’ve stated, we expect that to be slow. Most dayparts look pretty similar to our inventory update last month, however there are some changes. Early News had a slight change, going from 3% On Target last month to 6% this month. Also Too Open decreased in the same daypart from 90% last month to 88% this month. This is a small change, but a step in the right direction. The largest change is seen in Prime Access – a shift from 1% Too Tight last month to 13% this month. Furthermore, we see a large shift from 91% Too Open to 69% this month in Prime Access. What we have been saying since March remains true – as you push to increase sellouts with lower rates, remember that a lower rate that may encourage one advertiser to buy more won’t do the same for all advertisers. That being said, keep pushing to fill up that inventory while keeping an eye on dayparts with increasing demand.

TV Pacing Charts Q2

      Apr May Jun Q2
    All SB TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -45.9% -40.7% -26.5% -38.8%
             
    ABC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -43.4% -37.8% -24.1% -36.1%
    CBS Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -48.0% -43.1% -27.6% -41.0%
    NBC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -42.1% -35.6% -20.8% -34.3%
    FOX Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -47.1% -40.9% -24.4% -38.6%
    CW Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -51.8% -47.8% -36.4% -45.9%
    MNTV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -50.0% -47.6% -37.0% -45.4%
    TV Independent Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -53.1% -52.8% -43.5% -50.2%
             
    Midwest TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -45.5% -39.2% -23.4% -37.2%
    Northeast TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -54.5% -48.3% -43.0% -49.1%
    South Atlantic TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -42.9% -39.9% -22.1% -36.2%
    South Central TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -42.5% -36.5% -21.0% -34.6%
    West TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -47.2% -42.6% -29.8% -40.9%
             
    TV DMA Rank 1→20 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -50.6% -47.6% -34.1% -44.9%
    TV DMA Rank 21→65 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -46.0% -41.0% -24.6% -38.3%
    TV DMA Rank 66→100 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -48.7% -40.4% -21.6% -38.5%
    TV DMA Rank 101+ Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -40.1% -32.5% -21.5% -32.8%
             
    All SB Radio Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
      Apr May Jun Q2
    All SB TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -48.3% -47.5% -36.1% -44.4%
             
    ABC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -47.9% -50.5% -37.7% -45.6%
    CBS Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -48.6% -48.1% -35.4% -44.8%
    NBC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -48.4% -43.5% -31.0% -41.7%
    FOX Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -47.6% -47.9% -37.6% -44.6%
    CW Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -49.8% -47.9% -37.5% -45.4%
    MNTV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -47.0% -46.7% -45.4% -46.4%
    TV Independent Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -50.1% -49.2% -38.4% -46.3%
             
    Midwest TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -53.8% -49.8% -33.0% -46.4%
    Northeast TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -49.5% -48.0% -41.7% -46.7%
    South Atlantic TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -41.3% -46.5% -36.2% -41.7%
    South Central TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -48.0% -45.4% -30.3% -41.9%
    West TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -47.4% -47.5% -41.1% -45.6%
             
    TV DMA Rank 1→20 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -53.3% -51.8% -42.9% -49.8%
    TV DMA Rank 21→65 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -47.7% -48.0% -36.4% -44.4%
    TV DMA Rank 66→100 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -45.5% -40.4% -24.0% -37.3%
    TV DMA Rank 101+ Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -41.7% -41.8% -29.4% -38.0%
             
    All SB Radio Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
      Apr May Jun Q2
    All SB TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -46.6% -42.7% -29.6% -40.5%
             
    ABC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -44.5% -41.2% -28.2% -38.7%
    CBS Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -48.2% -44.6% -30.0% -42.1%
    NBC Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -43.8% -37.9% -24.0% -36.4%
    FOX Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -47.3% -43.4% -29.6% -40.8%
    CW Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -51.2% -47.8% -36.7% -45.8%
    MNTV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -48.9% -47.2% -40.6% -45.8%
    TV Independent Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -52.2% -51.7% -41.9% -49.0%
             
    Midwest TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 0.0% -42.3% -26.4% -39.9%
    Northeast TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -53.0% -48.2% -42.6% -48.4%
    South Atlantic TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -42.4% -42.0% -26.7% -37.9%
    South Central TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -44.0% -39.0% -23.8% -36.7%
    West TV Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -47.2% -44.3% -34.0% -42.5%
             
    TV DMA Rank 1→20 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -51.5% -49.0% -37.1% -46.6%
    TV DMA Rank 21→65 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -46.6% -43.3% -28.8% -40.4%
    TV DMA Rank 66→100 Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -47.9% -40.4% -22.3% -38.2%
    TV DMA Rank 101+ Stations TV Executive Summary Pace -40.4% -34.8% -23.7% -34.1%
             
    All SB Radio Stations TV Executive Summary Pace 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%