The Association of Commercial Television


Global TV Group arms advertisers with latest TV effectiveness evidence from around the world. Research collection demonstrates how TV works in every market, for all customer objectives.

The Global TV Group, the informal grouping of TV companies and sales houses’ trade bodies in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Latin America, whose common goal is to promote television, has released the first of three topical updates of its Global TV Deck planned for 2021.

The compendium gathers research summaries from various countries and covers critical studies as “The Halo Effect: TV As A Growth Engine” (VAB/Effectv), “Not all reach is equal” (Screenforce DACH/Karen Nelson-Field), “TV Drives Advertising Effectiveness that Lasts” (Accenture/thinktv Canada), “Profitability: The Business Case for Advertising” (Thinkbox/Ebiquity/Gain Theory) – and more.

In this collection, they will find, for example, research showing that:

  • Within the first fortnight of a campaign, TV delivers on average 23% of media-driven sales. (“Demand Generation” – UK)
  • TV is fundamental to Search, a strong driver of short-term sales demand (“Payback study” – AU)
  • Campaigns with a 70% to 90% coverage deliver the best possible impact in terms of contribution to sales and penetration. (“How Does TV’s Reach Impact Sales?” – ES)
  • Younger brands (three years or less) see the most significant impact of TV as they are establishing their story and identity in the market (“Halo Effect” – US)

This brand-new research collection is indispensable for marketers seeking to make the most informed decisions regarding their ad investments – illustrating how TV drives business outcomes and provides them with the best leverage for their marketing activities.

The Global TV Deck update can be freely downloaded on the Global TV Group website.

Sean Cunningham, President of The Global TV Group and CEO & President of the VAB:
“Advertisers choose TV for the most important role in their marketing plans, that of ‘lead outcomes-driver’. To best achieve the full range of business results – from quickly activating customer traffic at scale to securing brand loyalty beyond reason, whatever is most mission-critical to sales goals and brand goals should be trusted to TV.” 

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.

Alain Beerens – Marketing & Communication Manager, egta

Phone: +32 2 290 31 38 – E-mail:


In a clear indication of the lay of land in today’s TV industry, research from advertising technology platform provider FreeWheel has found that after a decade of change, and as people’s consumption of media has fragmented across devices over the past ten years, many have returned to the living room to watch connected TV (CTV).

In the tenth anniversary edition of its US Video Marketplace Report, the Comcast subsidiary drew a timeline of events that have shaped TV’s last decade of growth, drawing on data and observations from past issues to highlight the transformative moments of the last 10 years and contrasting the history with data from the second half of 2020.

The report reveals just how much consumers have embraced their connected devices to view premium content and how the device of choice has evolved over time as distribution has changed. It showed that in the fourth quarter of 2012, 12% of video views were on devices other than laptops but in comparison, in the second half of 2020, non-desktop devices made up 84% of ad views. This represents a 7x increase in share.

FreeWheel noted that CTV has played prominently into this shift, as consumers have moved back to the living room to consume TV. CTV now makes up 62% of all measured ad views, with Roku and Fire TV contributing 72% of ad views, 43% and 29% respectively.

Looking back ten years to the growth in adoption of TV everywhere in 2011, the report showed how content – and, therefore ad views – have spread across devices. In the second half of 2020, TV everywhere (TVE) made up 40% of ad views, while streaming was not far behind at 38% of ad views measured. Meanwhile, ad views continue to soar: the report found that in H2 2020, overall ad views increased by 57% when compared to H2 2019.

The report looked at the journey of programmatic advertising, as marketers have sought to streamline their tech stacks and find greater efficiencies in media buying. In 2015, programmatic was just starting to gain traction in the video space. Programmatic transactions have since exploded, currently accounting for 24% of premium video ad views in H2 2020. The use of audience targeting has also accelerated, comprising 91% of ad views, split evenly between demo and behavioural segments.

“We’ve observed enormous changes in the TV industry over the past decade, making it critical that marketers stay on top of trends in distribution, monetisation, audience behaviour and ad experience,” said FreeWheel general manager Dave Clark commenting on the US Video Marketplace Report. “For the past 10 years, the Video Marketplace Report has become a trusted source for data, context and commentary into these changes. In observing this time frame, the big story has been fragmentation, but ironically, fragmentation of video viewing has brought viewers back to their living rooms as connected TV continues to lead the pack.”



The average daily time spent watching TV increased to nearly four hours last year; time-shifted viewing doubled year on year.

In 2020, viewers spent record time watching TV in the 24-year history of people-meter measuring. In the 15+ group, TV was watched nearly four hours a day (3 hours and 59 minutes). From January to December, the average time spent watching TV increased by 43 minutes (to 4 hours and 47 minutes), which corresponds to the average length of the main news programme. The higher viewing trend was confirmed by this January when the average time spent watching TV was 4 hours and 45 minutes. Time-shifted viewing for the last twelve months has doubled. These results are disclosed by ATO, which orders TV measuring in the Czech market.

“The year-end has been traditionally related to a more varied choice of TV programmes and Christmas premieres. We can say that in many families, watching fairy tales and films together belongs to Christmas rituals. Nevertheless, last December saw a surprisingly high ATS of 4 hours and 47 minutes in the 15+ age group. ATS has increased year on year by nearly half an hour,” said Hana Havlíčková, ATO analyst.

Viewers were watching programmes throughout the day. In the prime time from 7 to 11 pm, people were watching TV daily for 1 hour and 51 minutes; from January to December 2020, ATS grew by 14 minutes.

Time-shifted viewing, i.e. watching programmes at times chosen by viewers according to their mood and free time, has also become popular. Time shifted viewing has doubled, representing more than 34 minutes (34:25 minutes) this January. “The growth in time-shifted viewing has been a trend in the recent period. The increase has certainly been affected by the greater amount of time spent at home due to the pandemic; however, we believe that viewers will make a habit that is going to be beneficial for TV in its future competition with the Internet,” says Vlasta Roškotová, executive director of ATO.

Regular TV data is delivered to the market by the Project of Cross-Platform Electronic Measurement organised by the Association of TV Organisations (ATO) in cooperation with Nielsen Admosphere.



How’s your TV watch time been? Don’t sugarcoat it – you know it’s been more than usual. With nothing to go out and do and all the reasons in the world to stay home, our TVs have kept us more engaged than ever. As entrepreneurs are constantly looking for opportunities in the midst of confusion and crazy times, some have been taking full advantage of the surge in TV watch hours.

To those fairly new in PR, landing a segment on prime time television seems near impossible. But, it’s actually not as hard as we think it to be, and current times make it even easier to land a prime time spot when views will be high. According to the Wall Street Journal, daytime television has seen a hefty spike, especially in the hours of 1-4pm (when usually, viewers would be at work rather than at home with their remotes). There’s never been a better time to take advantage of television networks’ need for compelling content. With over 4,350 shows and counting, the host of on the Wellness Hour TV Show, Randy Alvarez, shared how to get featured on a similar television show  – and why it’s so important to take advantage of current times to do so.

The Power Of TV Marketing

In line with the rumor that ‘print is dead,’ many worry the same about TV. With streaming services like Netflix offering advertisement-free television for under $10 a month and social media apps offering hours of tantalizing entertainment, the thrill of sitting in front of a television seems to be a thing of the past. However, Americans want to be tuned in – now, more than ever. Sometimes, this even means that they’re both on their phone and watching TV at the same time. It’s easy for any laptop entrepreneur to plug into a lot of different mediums.

A note here: Gen Z and younger generations do tend to prefer their smartphones over the bigger screens (with statistics from Marketing Charts stating that “18-34-year-olds spent almost three times as much time using apps and the web on smartphones alone than watching traditional TV). However, TV marketing is powerful for those aged 34+, but the younger generation shouldn’t be entirely left out, either. They’re still watching, even if they’re in the smaller demographic.

“The proof is in the return on investment and the incredible results we’ve seen,” Alvarez observed. “It was when I started conversing with one of my previous guests who is a doctor that we first explored the idea of TV marketing on my show. The price was $150 USD for a thirty minute segment, which they initially said no to,” Alvarez noted. “They actually thought it would cheapen his reputation – which should always be a consideration when thinking through forms of PR and how to brand yourself. But, since other mediums weren’t moving the needle forward in the way his team wanted them to, they went for it.

“That ended up being one of the most lucrative moves of his career, with an ROI of over $200,000 in revenue off of it,” Alvarez explained. “‘I’ve been an even bigger believer in the power of TV Marketing ever since I saw that from his segment. The ROI we are continuing to see right now is a small investment for prime time television in L.A. – which puts your face in front of approximately 5.7 million households.” 

Stories That Work Best For TV Traction

To be clear: a TV segment does need to be educational, entertaining, and/or informative, over and above working as billboard space. Landing a TV segment isn’t a free pass to sell in front of millions. That’s what a commercial is for. “When pitching yourself for a segment, it has to be clear that the content is not centered around selling,” Alvarez informed. “Even if you land the segment then go in the direction of selling, you’re dead in the water. Viewers will ‘mute’ or move to another channel. That’s not what they want to see.

“However, you can sell implicitly by tailoring to viewers’ emotions. What we’ve found works best is to take both an educational and an emotional angle. For example, since we interview and feature primarily doctors and dental professionals, informing audiences about procedures and patient stories through the lens of seeking to educate while also taking them along an emotional storyline has been quite effective.” 

Some worry that viewers have heard it all before, especially if experts in their industry have been on before. Alvarez says that sometimes the very best segments are the ones that are hyper-specific. “When thinking through your pitch, be super-targeted. For example, if you’re a physical therapist, focus on how to alleviate knee pain, or another part of the body. If you’re outside of the realm of healthcare, and you’re in an industry like skincare, focus on the best skincare regimens to protect aging skin. The more hyper-targeted and specific you are, the more memorable you’ll be – for both the networks that you’re pitching to and to viewers.”



Although the pandemic has affected the volume of TV advertising GRPs namely in spring, in total, TV delivered GRPs comparable to the previous year.

The aggregate number of TV ad GRPs delivered by TV companies last year achieved a level nearly comparable to the previous year. Given the coronavirus pandemic, it is a good result. The number of GRPs decreased by only 0.5% year-on-year. The result includes classic TV spots and sponsoring. This is the outcome derived from the data monitored by Nielsen Admosphere.

It is obvious from the monthly development between 2019 and 2020 that during 2020, TV succeeded in delivering a slightly higher number of GRPs, namely in early 2020 and then from August for the rest of the last year. On the other hand, a lower number of delivered GRPs is apparent in the spring months of 2020, especially in May.

Within individual business groups, there are differences in the GRPs delivered. The stations of Česká televize decreased by approximately ten percent because due to the pandemic, they lacked sports events connected to the sale of advertisements. The strongest TV advertising group, Media Club, reported a slightly better outcome last year (up by nearly 2 percent). Nova Group delivered nearly two percent of GRPs less but given the situation on the market, the result in stable.

Share of business networks (%) in delivered GRPs in 2020

In terms of viewership, Media Club (without Atmedia) achieved 31.40% in the 15-69 audience group. Nova Group achieved 33.64% (all day) in its key audience category of viewers aged 15-54 and Česká televize reported 30.86% in the 15+ group. Atmedia accounted for 4.74% in the 15-69 group.



In 2020, television cemented its role as the arbiter of the national mood. Will that mood turn to hope in 2021?

It’s impossible to look forward at the state of the media and entertainment media industry without taking a glance backward at the past year. And that view is one littered with debris: shutdowns, layoffs, regulatory stalemates, cancellations. 

It’s been a year of stops, starts, overhauls and renovations. But also hope and a reaffirming of what many have known for some time: Viewers are not only clamoring for more content, they also recognize that broadcast television remains a steady force when it comes to news in the midst of a crisis.


“I believe the pandemic has confirmed and underscored the intrinsic value of traditional broadcast television and radio,” said Adonis Hoffman, CEO of The Advisory Counsel, LLC, a D.C.-based law firm. “We cannot even begin to count the number of messages, programs and the type of content that was devoted to information, education, coverage of the pandemic.” 

The head of the nation’s primary broadcasting association agreed. “I believe the past few months have served as a reminder to viewers about the enduring value of local broadcast TV,” said Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters. “From the pandemic to West Coast wildfires, nationwide protests about racial inequity to the 2020 elections, we have witnessed many historic newsworthy events over the last nine months that led to increased viewership of broadcast television.” 

In early March, the industry got a clear-eyed view of the extent to which the coronavirus pandemic impact would have when the NAB Show announced it was canceling the in-person portion of the 2020 annual Las Vegas gathering. The organization has canceled the show only one other time, during World War II. 

As the largest show in the industry, the annual NAB Show is a significant money maker for the association. In 2019, the show brought in revenue of $46 million as well as 90,000 visitors and more than 1,600 exhibitors. In an interview in March, Smith called cancellation of the 2020 show an “agonizing” decision. It not only impacted the 90,000 individuals that were expected to attend but cost untold amounts in missed networking connections—a vital reason why many in the industry attend the show in the first place. 

The organization scrapped calls to reschedule the convention for later in the year and instead put together an all-virtual event, the “NAB Show Express.” Looking ahead to 2021, NAB said more than 540 companies have contracted to exhibit at the NAB Show when it returns to Las Vegas, Oct. 9–13, 2021.


Entering a new year, it’s become clearer how significant an impact the coronavirus has had on the media business, be that on television, radio or streaming. 

“[The pandemic has had] an incredible impact on both TV and radio,” said Mark Fratrik, senior vice president and chief economist for BIA Kelsey. “Many different verticals have decreased their advertising spending by a considerable amount. Of course, the amazing amount of political advertising mitigated some of that. But many different leisure and entertainment verticals, e.g. movies, basically stopped advertising or cut back severely.”

According to an estimate by the research firm IBISWorld, M&E is forecast to see a decline of 6.7% due to halted content production. Growth that had been seen over the last few years—as broadcasters began shifting into digital distribution—bolstered revenue. But the coronavirus offset these trends, which led to a decrease in total ad spending in 2020 and halted production of new TV content for a time.

Nowhere was this felt more perhaps than in live sports. Ads run during National Football League games are typically the most expensive in the market due to their large audience share. But viewership dropped as the pandemic caused cancellations or postponements. According to The Wall Street Journal, a drop in ratings for the NFL led advertisers to drop advertising prices in 2020, an unheard of occurrence.

The NFL responded by negotiating to get the NFL Network on a larger array of OTT platforms this year, including YouTubeTV, Vidgo and fuboTV and making it available on smart TVs such as VIZIO’s SmartCast, which last month launched an exclusive specialty “NFL Channel.”


Yet even without the annual convention and in the midst of a pandemic, progress across the industry has continued in several ways. Or as BIA Kelsey’s Fratrik said: “It will take some time for local TV to come back but by 2022, it should.” 

ATSC—which marked 2020 with the launch of consumer sets and station deployments— said that while many stations in the top 40 markets would deploy NextGen TV to viewers by the end of 2020, it revised that mile marker slightly to mid-2021. Deployments picked up steam by the end of the year though, with five markets launching in December alone, including its two largest markets, Seattle and Detroit. 

“I think we will continue to see the steady drumbeat of local TV stations launching NextGen TV service in markets across the country,” NAB’s Smith predicted. ATSC has said that it expects NextGen TV to be deployed in more than 60 markets representing 70 percent of viewers by the middle of this year. 

Another bright spot came from the influx of political advertising dollars spent. 

Although local TV stations continue to feel the effect of new competition in both attracting audiences and in selling advertising, “the amazing amount of political advertising spent in 2020—and continuing until Jan. 5 in Georgia—shows the importance of local television in the local advertising marketplace,” Fratrik said. 

Other bright spots on the horizon include the rescheduled XXXII Summer Games to be held in July and August of 2021 in Tokyo. In 2011, NBC agreed to a $4.38 billion contract with the International Olympic Committee to broadcast the Olympic Games through the 2020 Summer Olympics, giving NBC rights to all media platforms including TV, internet and mobile. NBC and the IOC also agreed to a $7.75 billion extension to air the Olympics through the 2032 games. A recent article in Forbes reported that NBC had sold more than $1.25 billion in advertising for this year’s games, accounting for nearly 90 percent of the available ad space. 

That’s not to say there hasn’t been fallout. A study reported in Japan Times projected that postponing the games was predicted to reduce Japan’s annual gross domestic product by ¥7.8 trillion (USD $75 billion).


While the lack of such high-profile programming in 2020 was a significant downside, it’s hard to put a number on it, Fratrik said, as the U.S. economy was already in a downward slide and advertising plummeted in the early months. “Overall several billions of dollars were not spent by national and local advertisers as a result of the pandemic and the economic downfall and the lack of the Olympics,” he said. 

What has remained strong throughout 2020: direct-to-consumer streaming. Nielsen went so far as to say that the pandemic catapulted streaming to serve as the present—and perhaps the future—of content consumption. According to the August 2020 Nielsen Total Audience Report, streaming among OTT-capable homes accounted for 25% of the time that consumers spent watching TV. 

Legacy broadcasting companies are going all-in with streaming, perhaps best marked by the launch of VUit, a new OTT app developed by Syncbak, which aggregates local programming. Backed by Gray TV, Raycom and ViacomCBS, among others, the new service, which debuted in September, touts itself as the “Netflix of Live, Local and Free.”

“Large TV groups such as Tegna, Sinclair and Gray are heavily involved in providing local streaming services and selling advertising on those platforms,” Fratrik added.

Another way to put it: “The media industry is surprisingly optimistic given the totality of 2020 events,” said Josh Steinhour, an analyst with the research firm Devoncroft Partners “This is perhaps due to the near singular fascination of the industry and investor communities with direct-to-consumer subscriber counts.”

According to the Nielsen report, streaming comprised one-fourth of all television minutes viewed, led by Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon and Disney+. Nielsen also found that the pandemic is having a significant impact on news consumption. “As consumers are spending more time at home and in their local communities, the pandemic is causing a spike in local news reliance and consumption,” Nielsen said.

According to Peter Katsingris, senior vice president of Audience Insights at Nielsen, local news providers are showing they are dialed in to this new way that consumers are consuming news, and local news has responded by reaching consumers in an effective way.

“When it comes to the consumption of local news, we asked [in the survey] about genres of what they watched during the day [and] news was the top genre,” he said. “Local news is something that is really hitting home for… people who are impacted and working from home. They’re home and really [want to] have up-to-the minute information on what’s going on.”

Not surprisingly TV viewing soared in 2020. The October 2020 Nielsen Local Watch Report revealed overall weekly news viewing is up nearly one hour and 20 minutes when compared to September 2019. And the demographic of those who are watching is changing as well with news viewing by younger audiences aged 18–34 increasing by 134% from 2019 to 2020.

report from the firm Research and Markets found that the M&E market is expected to stabilize and reach $133.7 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5% through 2023.


What else lies ahead? The makeup of trade shows is certain to change, Steinhour said. “To my knowledge there is no data set in existence describing a negative impact to the industry from the lack of trade events in 2020,” he said. “We need global events to bring together the industry community. I do not claim to have the answer for how trade events will evolve, but I can say with confidence future shows will not resemble the 2019 vintage.” 

What the industry should look at now involves action outside of the U.S. According to Steinhour, several European countries have or are in the process of passing Netflix-type taxes. “These are taxes on revenue, levies, or in-country spending mandates on large, familiar U.S. digital companies,” he said. “Regardless of the structure of the tax, the intention is to protect local content production. This will happen everywhere.” 

Others point to the ongoing importance of improving diversity in the broadcast world and embracing the rollout of ATSC 3.0. 

And others, including the NAB’s Smith, said that the most important thing broadcasters can do is to meet with their legislators and explain how legislation, regulatory actions and judicial decisions affect the day-to-day operations of stations. “Members of Congress are aware of the influence local broadcasters have in their communities, and they want to hear from them,” he said. 

Fratrik added that all broadcasters need to remain aware of their local economic conditions as we head into 2021. “There is wide variation among the states as to the severity of the lockdowns, the impacts on employment, and thus, the level of advertising being spent,” he said. “There is significant hope that the distribution of the vaccine will lead to more states opening up. Local broadcasters need to monitor those events and plan accordingly.”



TV advertising revenue plummeted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting broadcasters to slash content budgets and review spending. Tim Dams examines the extent of the decline in ad spend and assesses the likely rate of recovery.

“It could have been worse.” That’s the verdict of advertising giant GroupM in newly published research about the state of the advertising market in 2020.

Nine months into the Covid-19 pandemic, GroupM – whose global media buying agencies include Mindshare, MediaCom and Wavemaker – predicts an ad spend decline of 4.4% for the UK for 2020, which is much improved on its prior expectation of a 12.5% decline that it forecasted in June.

For the US, GroupM says the decline will be closer to 9% rather than a predicted 13% decline.

The figures are surprisingly good given that the advertising industry more or less shut down in March, with commercials production more or less halted as the pandemic took hold.

Advertisers around the world quickly started to reign in spend as lockdowns were announced. In the UK, ITV’s advertising revenue was down 42% in April, while Fox in the US saw revenues halve.

Advertising work then started to pick up in the summer, returning to almost normal in September and October with tech firms leading the charge.

GroupM says the advertising industry is experiencing a K-shaped recovery – the pandemic has seen rapid acceleration for e-commerce and advanced digital services and cratered industries like restaurants, bars, travel, entertainment and traditional retail.

Digital advertising is the “bright spot” in an otherwise dark year for the industry in both the US and the UK, adds GroupM.

In the US, it estimates that pure-play digital advertising will grow by 5% during 2020 on an underlying (ex-political advertising) basis, following on 2019’s 17% rate of growth. During 2021, the firm estimates that digital advertising will account for 55% of all advertising that it tracks.

Political advertising during the US presidential election has proved to be an important source of growth for digital media during 2020. Roughly 4% in total digital advertising was for political candidates and issues advertising, representing around 3% of the year’s gains.

In the UK, GroupM estimates that pure-play digital advertising will grow by 4.9% during 2020, following 2019’s 16% rate of growth.

Television advertising has also fared better than expected. In the UK, GroupM estimates it will fall by 10%, the worst rate of decline since 2009, but better than anticipated earlier this year. Its 2021 forecast now anticipates a 10% gain and a return to 2019 levels in 2022.

“Although streaming services receive much of the industry’s attention, traditional ad-supported television continues to do the bulk of the work supporting marketers’ brand-building efforts,” says GroupM.

National TV advertising in the US will see a decline of 7.9% during 2020 and rebound to grow by 6.6% during 2021 before returning to a flat or slightly declining longer-term trend.

“At this pace, national TV is faring better than every other category of media other than digital,” says GroupM.

The agency’s findings echo reports from the TV industry. At the height of the pandemic, the UK’s Channel 4 saw its revenue fall by half, and cut its programme budget by £150m. Chief executive Alex Mahon recently said the picture has improved and advertisers have returned, and that its content spend will go up “massively” next year to help it compete with streamers such as Netflix.

Last month, ITV’s CEO Carolyn McCall predicted an annual rise in advertising revenues for the final quarter of 2020, saying that “advertising trends are improving.”

Cinema has been most heavily affected advertising medium by the pandemic, with an estimated decline of 80% for 2020 in the UK.

GroupM expects a strong rebound of 160% in 2021 as film studios seek to monetise their backlogs with a surge of highly anticipated launches.
“While this rebound may seem optimistic, we note that it only brings cinema back to 52% of pre-pandemic advertising spend.”

GroupM notes that studios are likely to release some upcoming titles on their direct-to-consumer platforms. “Even once the virus has receded, it seems unlikely studios will release as many titles in theatres as they did in pre-pandemic years, meaning admissions are likely to remain below 2019 levels for some time.

Elsewhere, GroupM thinks audio advertising will fall by 16% and 27% in the UK and US respectively.

Print media will fall by 23% this year in the UK. In the US, the figure is 20% for magazine publishers and a 30% decline for newspaper publishers. “It is our view that neither the magazine nor newspaper sectors will ever exceed $10 billion in ad revenue in their current forms, even including existing digital properties.”

Looking ahead, GroupM predicts robust growth for 2021 as vaccines allow normal life to return in the second half of the year. In the US, the ad market will rise 11.8% on an ex-political basis, or 6% including it. “For subsequent years, we anticipate slightly higher growth than we previously forecast—now 5% in 2022 followed by 4% in 2023 and 2024—to reflect what we think will be an accelerated pace of investment in digital media by marketers of all sizes.”

In the UK, Brexit uncertainty still weighs on the British economy.
“At a minimum, our forecasts anticipate some degree of disruption to the economy in the early part of 2021 as adjustments are made; however, we think Brexit’s impact on the advertising market will be limited to a shift in spending away from the first quarter rather than meaningful full-year cuts.

More generally, we continue to assume that “normal” activity will return by the second half of the year, which pre-supposes that Brexit will not cause ongoing problems and that an effective vaccine will be widely distributed across the population.”



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.


As the screen-watching landscape continues to change and viewing habits switch, can television – and therefore television advertising – hold its own? The Moon Unit examine the future of ‘the hearth of the 20th century’.

Television is finally on its way out, and television advertising along with it. Or so they say.

Truth is, that has been said for a while now. The speculation started with the invention of time-shifted, on deme television back when Big Brother was still popular, and has been reignited in the last few years with increasing digital ad-spend and viewers shifting to streaming services. Still, like petrol cars or the Queen, the trusty old TVC just won’t seem to die.

“Like petrol cars or the Queen, the trusty old TVC just won’t seem to die.”

At this point it might be safer to assume that television advertising is immortal and, instead, ask; what, if anything, might its future look like? If television advertising were a human, it would probably be taking heart pills and transitioning to a diet of soft foods. This is at least the opinion of many who work in advertising. Endless is the list of opinion pieces about how the death of traditional advertising is nigh, an unsurprising view from an industry with a supposed ageism problem.

But the critics do have a point?

Digital ad-spend surpassed that of television in 2016, and that’s almost certainly not going to change back. Watching video on subscription-based platforms that don’t cater to advertising has become the norm for an increasing number of people. Brands even seem to prefer the transition to digital too, as they get far more data on where their money is going, with tools like impression metrics. All in all, it’s a tough time for television advertising. And yet, against all logic, television ad revenue is still growing. How can that be? To answer that, first let’s take a look at the numbers.

People watch more television than you’d think. A lot more. In the first quarter of 2019, US adults spent 39% of their daily media consumption on live and time-shifted television, compared to 38% on computer, smartphone, and tablet use combined. This is, of course, generational: in the 18-34 bracket those numbers are 21% and 51% respectively; in the 65+ group 57% and 26%.

Above: Share of daily time spent by platform, via Nielson.

Old people watch more TV than young people. Unsurprising. But that the average American still watches more traditional TV than phone, tablet, and computer usage combined? Well, that might surprise your usual type of young marketing professional, the type who probably hasn’t seen a television outside of a dentist waiting room since childhood, and therefore has shocking misconceptions of how the statistically average person consumes media.

The numbers get more extreme if we look at it sampled by video engagement. The average US adult spends four hours and 27 minutes watching television per day. Fifty-four minutes is spent on TV-connected devices (this includes streaming), and 25 minutes watching video on other devices collectively.

“You’ve got about as much chance selling incontinence nightwear on a Twitch stream as you do selling a VPN during midday M*A*S*H* reruns.”

That means that the average US adult is exposed to roughly 72 minutes of television advertising per day. So, perhaps the cord cutting apocalypse isn’t quite as close as we’ve been led to believe. No surprise then that TV is still the leading channel for self-reported advertising engagement – a metric that could hold more truth than its digitally reported twin.

Above: Average time spent per adult, 18+, per day on video, via Nielson.

But the numbers only tell one part of the story. In truth, the whole ‘television advertising is dying because more money is being spent on digital’ rhetoric was, likely, totally off to begin with. Did radio die because of television? No – they both have steady niches in the market. In the same way, television and digital are incomparable. So, let’s give it a go.

“Digital does the job of those “call in the next 10 minute” infomercials better than their creators ever could have imagined.”

The most obvious difference between the two is demographic: who is being sold to? You’ve got about as much chance selling incontinence nightwear on a Twitch stream as you do selling a VPN during midday M*A*S*H* reruns. Yes, there’s overlap. There’s teenage television and, well, Facebook, but the deciding factor in choosing between a TVC or digital campaign will be target audience.

More interesting, however, are the different roles that TV and digital play in terms of how their advertising functions. Television advertising is more about brand building than anything. A Budweiser spot isn’t placed in the middle of Sunday Night Football because they want you to leave your living room and head straight down to pick up a six-pack. It’s put there because the next time you’re staring blankly at the shelves deciding what six-pack to buy, you’ll choose the beer of the brand that showed you a funny ad while you were having a good time watching sport, rather than the dozens of others.

Above: TV is still the top medium for ads in the US, via Statista.

Digital advertising, on the other hand, acts more often as a sales funnel. That’s not to say it doesn’t also function as brand building, but that’s usually not the primary purpose. Digital does the job of those “call in the next 10 minute” infomercials better than their creators ever could have imagined. There’s a call to action, and just a few clicks away you can buy a product that will arrive at your door the next day. Perhaps your credit card information is even saved in your browser already.

“The ‘skip this ad’ button is responsible for the night terrors of digital marketers.”

That is, if your attention is grabbed in the first five seconds. Clicked with more determination than ‘refresh’ on the Glastonbury ticketing page, the ‘skip this ad’ button is both responsible for the night terrors of digital marketers, and a symbol of the inherent difference between TV and digital advertising.

It’s psychologically a very different thing to click a skip button – or to even mute an ad and switch tabs to the million other things at your fingertips – than it is to get up and walk out of a room during an ad break. If a TVC is at least mildly entertaining it’s a lot easier to sit through and wait for your show to resume than it is on the internet, where we’ve become accustomed to getting what we want without delay.

Many people on both ends of the advertising production chain don’t understand this and just assume that you can put something that was made for TV as a YouTube pre-roll and expect the same results, or vice-versa. This is how cost-cutting effectively becomes a wasted ad budget.

All this without even mentioning ad blockers, the Iron Dome of anti-digital advertising systems. But, to examine the full near-future impact of ad blockers would require its own article. An internet savvy person likely forgets that pre-rolls and sidebar ads even exist. That presents a real problem for marketers, who sometimes end up resorting to less ethical means of advertising to get their messages across.

Clearly the television vs. digital debate is an apples and oranges kind of situation. But if television – and television advertising along with it – is here to stay, what does its future hold?

The most likely scenario is something similar to radio. Viewership slowly but steadily decreases until it flat lines at some point, where it’s kept alive by virtue of having a particular niche. This process would likely happen over the course of a few generations, as the people for whom television was a household staple are outlived by those who grew up with streaming or whatever comes next.

“Television fills a particular need that we have to have things chosen or curated for us.”

Or perhaps everything goes full circle and the streaming giants are pressured by companies to include advertising (or just want to make more money) and the video streaming landscape of the next decade begins to look like on-demand TV does now. What is certain at this point is that television fills a particular need that we have to have things chosen or curated for us.

How often do you sit in front of your streaming service of choice, scrolling endlessly to find something before ending up back at the top picking the thing you thought about watching first? How long does that process take you? For the average person, according to the same Nielson report referenced above, it’s about 7.4 minutes.

“It’s one of the reasons people still listen to radio – too much choice is daunting.”

Television doesn’t have that problem. It’s one of the reasons people still listen to radio – too much choice is daunting, and when you want to switch off after a long day, having somebody choose for you is relaxing. The endless stream of stuff can be a comfort, and for some people even substitute as company, in a way that anything attempting to replace it couldn’t achieve. The TV was, after all, the hearth of the 20th century; a gentle log fire with ad breaks.

So, no, television is not about to die. It’s going to gradually decline in popularity and maybe even experience some ironic-until-serious resurgence, like vinyl. Anybody telling you otherwise is either severely misinformed or trying to push their digitally based product. Always check the footer. At The Moon Unit, we write and design the world’s best TVC treatments – but before you call us out on that, we do the same for film and streaming content. Our work has shown us that this isn’t a zero sum game – there’s room for all of these media to exist in harmony, and the growing popularity of one does not come at the expense of the rest.