A mistake is often made by the Silicon Valley “insiders” when they lump all traditional media into one big (failing) bucket. Newspaper advertising in print has been decimated, but TV advertising has actually held up quite well, even during the pandemic. While we are all watching a lot of Netflix (NFLX -0.6%), advertisers know that millions of consumers are watching traditional broadcast and cable TV every hour of every day.

According to a recent report from MoffettNathanson, the firm named in part for Michael Nathanson, a long-time, well-regarded media analyst, reported a 3% increase in U.S. TV advertising revenue in the third quarter of this year. The firm compared that to national advertising spending that fell 3.5 percent. For this final quarter of 2020, Nathanson envisions an increase of 2% in TV advertising revenue.

The report is titled “That Was Unexpected!” and Michael Nathanson spoke to why TV advertising revenue was remarkably up this past quarter, “First, the third quarter has a once-in-a-lifetime wave of every major sport returning to the market. Second, the intense 2020 election cycle attracted huge local, regional, and national ad spending – which we estimate to be up roughly 75 percent over 2016 – in key presidential swing states and in the fight for the Senate.”

Nathanson forecast strong future revenue for the TV industry, saying, “The TV ad market will post strong results in the coming three quarters as sports events, including the Olympics, return to their natural cadence.”

In contrast, the newspaper companies continue to lose advertising revenue, and in most cases, subscription revenue too. The national newspapers, particularly The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYT +1.6%) have avoided this value-destruction by successfully driving paid-subscriptions online.

The Pew Research Center recently issued a report that documented, to no one’s surprise, that advertising revenue from the major local newspaper chains, already suffering from plummeting print advertising revenue, have been slammed even harder during the pandemic and the resultant economic recession.

Pew reported, that among the six publicly owned newspaper chains — Gannett (GCI.I 0.0%), New York Times, Tribune, McClatchy, Lee and Belo (AHC -0.7%) — who own and operate more than 300 daily newspapers, advertising revenue fell by 42% over year last year.



In terms of TV viewing, October 2020 has been the strongest of all months of October since the start of people meter measuring in 1997.

The daily ATS in the 15+ target group accounted for 4 hours and 18 minutes this October, which is 35 minutes more compared to the average values for the same month in the last three years.

The Covid-19 pandemic thus confirmed the role of TV as a significant source of information and the way of leisure time spending. Namely in certain months of the year, ATS in the 4+ viewer group achieved very high values compared to the average for the prior three years. “Undoubtedly, this is caused by the coronavirus pandemic which locks us down in our homes where TV is our natural companion and results in a great hunger for information. And TV provides a wealth of information, especially in the times of crisis,” says Tereza Šimečková, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Nielsen Admosphere, commenting on the results. In terms of ATS, October 2020 has become the strongest of all months of October since the people meter measuring in 1997.


2017-2019 AVERAGE

February – March – April – May – June – July – August – September – October – November*
*November data is from 1 to 14 November Source: ATO – Nielsen Admosphere, live+TS0-3, 2017-2019 / 2020

Source: ATO-Nielsen Admosphere

During the spring wave, the 4+ group grew by a quarter while during the autumn wave by 20%. In certain groups of population, the growth was more significant than in other groups: in spring, during the first state of emergency, the increase was high among pupils and students (+44%), the top “A” group within the ABCDE socio-economic classification (+41%), people with university education (+38%) or economically active (working) viewers (+33%). During the autumn wave, ATS has grown significantly (albeit with a smaller year-on-year change than in spring) in group “A” within the ABCDE socio-economic classification (+34%), among viewers from Prague (+28%) and people with university education (+28%); the group of pupils and students saw an increase of a quarter (+25%).

Year-on-year growth in the total TV rating
1st wave
2nd wave

65+ Men All (4+) Working people Pupils and students University education Prague ABCDE “A”
Source: ATO-Nielsen Admosphere, live + TS0-3, calculated on 18 November 2020

Thanks to the current developments in technology and changes in viewing habits, time shifted viewing, i.e. viewing programmes after their live broadcasting, has been growing for a long time. This viewing option has already been provided to households by cable and namely IPTV operators or new types of smart TVs having the HbbTV function (hybrid TVs, the so-called “red button”). This year, viewers in the 15+ target group watched 22 minutes of TV broadcasting per day with a time shift (0-7 days), which is an increase of 8 minutes year on year.

The continuous research data indicates how the method of receiving TV broadcasts has changed in Czech households over the years – including the period of the last year when people had to solve transition to DVB-T2. At present (according to the results for August and September 2020), 55% of households receive TV stations through terrestrial digital broadcasting, which continues to be the prevailing method of TV reception in the Czech Republic. Households prefer it to the satellite (21%), cable (17%) and IPTV (15%) reception. In general, satellite and cable reception tends to decline slowly over the years while IPTV, i.e. digital TV distributed through the Internet, slightly increases.

Method of TV broadcast reception in the Czech Republic

Terrestrial digital broadcasting Satellite broadcasting Cable TV IPTV
Source: Continuous research, 3Q 2017-2020, ATO – Nielsen Admosphere, target group: TV households

Source: ATO-Nielsen Amdopshere

“The unprecedented growth in TV viewing and the completion of the transition to the higher technological standard of DVB-T2 are undoubtedly two extraordinary aspects to be mentioned at the occasion of this year’s World Television Day,” said Vlasta Roškotová, Managing Director of the Association of Television Organisations (ATO). The World Television Day is on 21 November.




TV companies around the world celebrate World Television Day on 21 November to remind us that TV makes a difference in people’s lives. As part of the annual United Nations initiative, a 30 second-spot will be broadcast on-air and shared online worldwide. The clip will be adapted and translated into many languages.

Putting the spotlight on society

For its 24th edition, World Television Day celebrates a truth that holds around the globe: TV makes a difference! Our medium has made and will continue to make a difference in society by putting the spotlight on racial and social injustice, hate speech, the pressing climate issues and the support TV has provided to people and businesses throughout the continuing COVID crisis.

“While circumstances kept us apart this year, TV has brought us together. TV is and always has been a social glue. As viewing rocketed, broadcasters the world over reacted to the unique circumstances nimbly and with great creativity to ensure that TV was there for us all as a source of trusted information, comforting distraction, and much-needed escapism,” asserts Lindsey Clay, President of the Global TV Group and CEO of Thinkbox.

“This pandemic demonstrates like never before the role of television to support society and democracy. Throughout these difficult months, TV is there to care. Care for the provision of editorially responsible trusted news. Care for the distribution of entertainment to bring light in times of darkness. Care for preserving variety and cultural diversity in the media landscape. All in all, TV is and will continue to be a true beacon of resistance against the Coronavirus”, proclaims Guillaume de Posch, President of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe.

“The past year, TV has continued to uphold its long tradition of addressing the critical issues in our global community. It brings our attention to social injustice, sheds a neutral light on society’s mishaps, helps relieve the strain of an unprecedented era giving us a hopeful outlook on the future. World TV Day is an opportunity for us all to pay tribute to the many professionals who make the magic happen both on screen and from behind the scene. We invite everyone to once again celebrate our medium around the world,” says Laurent Bliaut, President of egta and Deputy General Director, Marketing and R&D, TF1 Publicité

“At the time of COVID-19, Television has never been so present and important. Broadcasters have a dual responsibility to inform and to connect people by sharing positive and verified stories about building back better and greener. Thank you to the TV industry for making a difference,” says Caroline Petit, Deputy Director United Nations Regional Information Centre for Europe (UNRIC).

For more information, please visit:

Press contacts:

Alain Beerens,
MarCom Manager, egta
Association of television and radio sales houses
T : +32 2 290 31 38

The Global TV Group is an informal grouping of broadcasters’ and sales houses’ trade bodies in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Latin America, whose joint objective is to promote television and remind advertisers, journalists, agencies and industry peers about the effectiveness and popularity of TV.

The European commercial broadcasting sector is a major success story. We entertain and inform hundreds of millions of EU citizens each day via thousands of channels available across Europe. The Association of Commercial Television in Europe represents the interests of 29 leading commercial broadcasters across Europe. The ACT member companies finance, produce, promote and distribute content and services benefiting millions of Europeans across all platforms. At ACT we believe that the healthy and sustainable commercial broadcasting sector has an important role to play in the European economy, society and culture.

ABOUT egta
egta is the association representing television and radio sales houses, either independent from the channel or in-house, that markets the advertising space of both private and public television and radio stations throughout Europe and beyond. egta fulfils different functions for its members in fields of activities as diversified as regulatory issues, audience measurement, sales methods, interactivity, cross-media, technical standards, new media, etc. During its more than 40 years’ existence, egta has become the reference centre for television and radio advertising in Europe. egta counts more than 150 members operating across 43 countries.

The Brussels-based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Europe – UNRIC – provides information on UN activities to 22 countries and is active on social media and websites in 13 languages. It acts as the European communication office of the United Nations and its aim is to engage and inform European citizens about global issues. It also liaises with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities, joint public information campaigns and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, the creative community, and local authorities.


Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, in partnership with industry body VAB, has released a new report, The Halo Effect: TV as a Growth Engine, which analyses TV’s influence on businesses’ ability to drive financial outcomes and growth by life stage. The analysis found that both direct-to-consumer (DTC) and non-DTC brands across all life stages see measurable results from TV advertising across the board.

For DTC brands, the study analysed 140 brands in over 25 industry verticals, categorising them based on how soon the brand introduced TV advertising after launch. The study found that brands who advertised on TV saw immediate results, regardless of life stage. In fact, the average brand within each life stage saw an immediate double-digit increase in unique visitors to their digital platforms during their TV launch month compared to the three-month average prior to campaign.

For non-DTC brands, the paper analysed 50 companies over 15 industry categories divided among two life stage segmentations (older or younger than 20 years). Similar to the direct-to-consumer segment, the average non-DTC brand within each life stage saw an immediate double-digit increase in unique visitors to their digital platforms during their TV launch month.

“This study establishes that TV is a critical growth engine for brands at any life stage,” asserted James Rothwell, Vice President, Global Agency, Brand & Industry Relations, Comcast Advertising. “This is especially important today, as economic uncertainty makes it even more important that brands build a media mix that will reach new audiences and drive measurable growth. And for newer brands, who are still establishing their story and identity in market, TV presents an opportunity to ‘legitimise’ their products, bringing credibility and scale in ways no other advertising medium can.”

In addition to the VAB analysis of hundreds of brands, the paper also features case studies from Effectv and Forecast Labs, part of Comcast Ventures. These case studies delve into how different types of companies have approached TV and the associated outcomes.

A key takeaway from the report is that sustained presence on TV is key. Again, this is truer for young brands, which saw the greatest lift from a sustained TV presence: the analysis found that average unique website visitors for the young brands during months with TV advertising were 50 per cent higher than their pre-launch website visitor norms. This equates to millions of potential new online customers each month they were on TV. In comparison, brands at an older life stage saw a 21 per cent increase in website visitors, illustrating that TV still drives significant uplift for mature brands but they can also rely on a greater level of awareness due to time in market.

“Over the last few years, savvy data-driven marketers have accelerated the advertising journey by introducing TV earlier in their brand life cycle,” noted Jason Wiese, SVP, Director of Strategic Insights, VAB. “These younger brands spend aggressively and advertise more consistently than their competitors resulting in higher engagement and better digital outcomes. Our findings confirm the most effective way for brands to challenge incumbents and establish themselves within a category is through TV advertising.”




During the first coronavirus lockdown, the consumption of television and online streaming content soared.

According to Ofcom’s Media Nations 2020 report, published in August, people in the UK spent 40% of their day on average watching TV and online video content during the month of April – a year-on-year rise of almost a third. The average UK adult reportedly spent 178 minutes per day, or close to three hours, watching live television during that period.

For advertisers putting out their message on these channels, there was an opportunity to reach and make an impression on a vastly increased audience. And while many companies were pulling back from spending any ad budget at all, some brands and agencies took advantage of the reduced rates available to them – and saw a strong response from TV campaigns.

It was a particularly golden opportunity for two scale-up digital brands, Farmdrop and Olio: one, an online grocer focused on sourcing sustainable, high-quality groceries; the other, an app that allows people to donate and receive unwanted food and other items. I spoke to Josh Clarricoats, Managing Partner at advertising agency Hell Yeah, which created two direct response TV ads for the two brands, about why TV can be an effective advertising channel for digital-based services and how it can work hand-in-hand with digital advertising activity like online video and display ads.

Digital brands and direct response TV ads

“Hell Yeah works with a lot of startup and scaleup brands,” Clarricoats says. “They’ve usually taken a couple of rounds of funding, and they may have run some internal digital campaigns – paid social, programmatic displays ads – but they haven’t really explored the realms of ‘proper’ creativity and strategy.

“Farmdrop and Olio were both interested in exploring TV to see if it would work for them – they’d very much utilised digital channels up to that point. And after the initial months of lockdown, as things started to open back up a bit, there were some very beneficial TV rates on offer for brands because so many businesses had cut all TV advertising, which made the rates super cheap – they were roughly half the price they’d been before. At the same time, a lot more people were watching TV.

“Although both brands very much wanted to drive people to the website to sign up and become customers, and you want to have a really strong call-to-action that will achieve that, most TV ads – particularly direct response TV ads – have the job of building the brand as well, particularly if it’s a brand that’s never been on TV,” explains Clarricoats.

“People usually aren’t going to go straight to the website and do a food shop, or download an app – but if you get that messaging across, then maybe a week later, they’ll think to sign up and give the service a go. You need to invest in the creativity so that it’s memorable.”

This is the beauty of television compared to other forms of advertising, according to Clarricoats: it is very effective at eliciting an emotional response. Thinkbox and Ipsos Connect’s 2016 ‘TV Nation’ report found that 58% of people believe that TV advertising “Makes you feel emotional”, while 64% said it “Sticks in the memory”. For this reason, it can be a useful tool for smaller brands that want to make an impact, particularly when used in concert with a well-planned digital campaign.

“We don’t just specialise in television, but I think it’s a really good platform for digital-based services to test,” says Clarricoats. “You can target a lot of people – a lot of people still watch television, which I think people forget – and it’s a good way to supplement your digital activity and create a full-reaching campaign that people will see both online and on TV.

“It’s also a lot more cost-effective than people realise. A lot of scale-up brands believe that TV must cost an arm and a leg, but worldwide, the UK has some of the cheapest TV advertising rates.”

Cutting through the silence during lockdown

For both FarmDrop and Olio, Hell Yeah worked to create ads that would elicit an emotional response from people, while also being versatile enough to be used across different channels – giving multiple pieces of creative for the price of one.

“With FarmDrop, we tried to make a very memorable TV ad that also built the brand. It was very much a TV-first campaign, but they also used cuts of the ad on YouTube and as digital display ads. The response has been amazing – for a 30-second paid ad on YouTube, 27% of people were watching it through to the end.

“I think this shows how a good strong idea can transfer to social as well – as long as that’s within your mind when you’re making the creative for it.”
The 30-second Farmdrop YouTube ad, which aimed at capturing how ordering food through the app made people feel. More than a quarter (27%) of people who viewed the ad watched it to the end.

Overall, Farmdrop’s television ad campaign drove 30,000 website sessions attributed to TV, with more than 2,000 attributed incremental sales, according to data from measurement platform TVSquared. Year-on-year web traffic for August, when the ad aired, was up 122%, and Farmdrop also saw a 66% month-on-month increase in branded search.

For Olio, Hell Yeah set out to create a “hard-working” direct response TV ad that would get the most out of the “shoestring budget” that the brand was working with. “They wanted to create a hard-working animation that would encourage people to download the app and reconsider throwing things away,” says Clarricoats.

“Again, it transferred very well to digital channels, and they can now use it for any kind of moving image or audio assets.”

Did both brands make a deliberate decision to advertise during a time when many businesses were drastically slashing their ad budgets and pulling back from advertising – allowing those who did invest in marketing and advertising to take a bigger share of voice? During the lockdown, Clarricoats recalls, businesses pulled back from advertising for two reasons: some were struggling and didn’t have a product they could feasibly market, but other businesses that were doing unexpectedly well during Covid-19 “fell into the trap” of thinking they didn’t need to advertise, because they were already seeing a huge uplift.

“Farmdrop, to a degree, did that – they initially switched off all their digital channels, because people were coming to them anyway – but then they realised they were still missing out on vast swathes of customers who might not have heard of them. That’s when they decided to switch advertising back on and run a campaign across digital, TV and out of home – to keep that brand awareness up.”

Clarricoats anticipates that the trend of using digital services and apps – particularly for grocery shopping – will continue long-term. “That whole mindset and the way that people do their shopping has completely changed, and that’s not going to drop down any time soon. In general, people are a lot more receptive to using digital and delivery services than they were before.”

Making TV and digital work together

Different advertising channels have different strengths, and though television is effective at delivering an emotional impact, it can be difficult to attribute, especially when compared to the precision of tracking clicks on digital. “With digital, you can see that someone’s clicked, and that they’ve bought something. With TV, it’s a bit more guesswork.”

Thanks to dual-screening habits, there is a percentage of consumers – Clarricoats estimates around a third – who will act on an advertising message directly if it piques their interest. But for the majority of consumers, the effectiveness of a campaign relies on its memorability. This is where digital advertising can come in.

“We’re not an agency that says, ‘you should just do TV’,” says Clarricoats. “[A television ad spot] does need to be supplemented with good, captivating digital content that matches up to the TV campaign, so that it all works together as one creative suite of assets to drive that memorability.” Digital is still a very cost-effective method for driving customers to a website, he adds. By taking an “all-encompassing” approach to ad strategy, brands – especially growing scaleup brands – can get the most out of what may be a relatively small media budget.

Another key thing to remember for disruptive brands that want to make an impact with their advertising is that it isn’t enough to claim you’re a challenger brand, says Clarricoats – your ad creativity and ideas need to reflect that disruptiveness. “You need to come up with ideas that are going to break through the noise, perhaps get more organic coverage – think about what’s going to get people to sit up and take notice.

“TV ad spots can be quite similar to one another; we encourage our clients to think of something that’s not sterile, and gets people to notice what you’re doing. You need to explore what’s important to consumers and connects with them on an emotional level, rather than just pushing a product.”