Boston: Looking softer come January
Lower demand for TV inventory after a strong finish to 2012
November 20, 2012
The Boston media market has been healthy in 2012, and stations hope that will continue into 2013.
But right now first quarter is looking like a buyer’s market.
There is plenty of TV inventory available for first quarter and pricing is down slightly, in contrast to Boston’s very busy fourth quarter.
“It should be a much less competitive market going into next year,” says Tracie Manna Chinetti, associate director of broadcast at Blitz Media in Boston. “It depends on the medium, station and program, but prices seem to be down going into first quarter.”
That means buyers can find some deals for first quarter, though the most in-demand inventory will remain tight with pricing at a premium.
“It really comes down to programming, and there are no surprises there,” Chinetti says. “A high-rated half-hour comedy has few avails and may not meet demand.”
At the moment inventory is tight in Boston, following what was a busy few months leading into the Nov. 6 elections.
Many non-political advertisers held off on buying ads until after the election, resulting in tight inventory through the end of the year.
Auto dealers continue to return to the market, the banking and telecom categories are still hot, and retail has been up and down, becoming more active as the holidays near.
Those categories are also healthy on radio, particularly auto and retail, but like TV the medium could soften after the holidays and into the new year.
This fall radio gained advertisers who wanted to avoid the glut of political ads on TV. The medium remains healthy during the latter half of fourth quarter for the holiday shopping season.
But if 2012 was strong, 2013 will simply be status quo for Boston radio.
“Unless we get a special election, we are looking at business as usual moving into 2013,” says Chinetti.
There are a number of competitive radio stations in Boston, but there is a clear leader, Clear Channel current hits station WXKS-FM.
The station led the market in October with an 8.2 portable people meter rating, according to Arbitron, well ahead of the 6.5 rating posted by the No. 2 station, adult contemporary WMJX-FM.
Sports are also big on Boston radio, with two sports stations among the top 13 in October and among the top 10 in September.
CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM was No. 8 in the market last month with a 4.6 PPM rating, while Entercom’s WEEI-FM was No. 13 with a 2.8. The latter was stronger during the spring and summer, when it had Boston Red Sox baseball game broadcasts.
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