Ad Spending, Rising Incomes to Boost Television Revenues

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Streaming services to see fastest growth

US television revenues are forecast to increase 3.5% per year in nominal dollars through 2026, according to Television: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Ongoing growth in the number of households and disposable personal incomes are expected to drive revenue gains. Industry participants will also benefit from increases in business incomes, which will bolster budgets for television advertising. Competition for advertising spending with social media platforms and search engines will constrain revenue growth. In addition, faster gains will be limited by competition from alternative forms of entertainment. In 2022, television revenues are projected to increase less than 1.0%, a significant slowdown compared to 8.6% growth in 2021, as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are scaled back in 2022 and consumers spend more time outside the home.

Revenues of cable networks are projected to remain the largest segment in 2026. Providers will continue to benefit from demand for in-home entertainment, as cable networks feature a diverse array of programming. However, streaming revenues are projected to rise 8.4% annually to 2026, the fastest rate among discrete segments. The wide array of movies and shows available on-demand in streaming platforms and the cost savings of streaming will continue to attract consumer interest. The addition of live sporting events to streaming platforms will help the industry compete with broadcast and cable networks.

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These and other key insights are featured in Television: United States. This report forecasts to 2022 and 2026 US television revenues in nominal US dollars. Total revenues are segmented by source in terms of:

  • cable networks
  • cable networks licensing
  • cable networks air time
  • other cable network revenues
  • cable distribution
  • broadcast networks and stations
  • broadcast air time
  • other broadcast revenues such as affiliation fees, licensing fees, and retransmission fees
  • streaming

To illustrate historical trends, total revenues and the various segments are provided in annual series from 2011 to 2021.

Motion picture and video production is excluded from the scope of this report.

This report includes the results of a proprietary national online consumer survey of US adults (age 18+). This Freedonia Focus Reports National Survey has a sample size of approximately 2,000, screened for response quality, and representative of the US population on the demographic measures of age, gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, household income, and the presence/absence of children in the household.

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