Salt Lake City: Revving up for the Olympics
It's been the top-rated U.S. market seven of the past eight Games
June 30, 2016
It’s also consistently one of the top-rated markets for the Olympics, which will tighten the market even further later this summer.
On TV, spending is healthy across the board, with multiple categories seeing gains.
“Automotive–local and national–internet, telecom, cable providers and cell service providers seem to be the heaviest,” says Marc Stryker, media director at Penna Powers.
“All categories are up for the most part. This market is just doing very well. We have low unemployment compared to other markets, our market is the youngest in the country and our higher birth rate means we’re growing steadily.”
Just nuts about the Games
The healthy conditions on TV are expected to continue through the end of summer. Then the Olympics will take over the market.
To say Salt Lake loves the Olympics would be an understatement. The market has been the No. 1 metered market for primetime ratings during seven of the past eight Olympics. The lone exception was the 2014 Winter Games. Salt Lake finished a close second to Minneapolis (19.0 household rating to the latter’s 19.4).
During the most recent Summer Games in London in 2012 Salt Lake averaged a 25.0 household rating, two-and-a-half points ahead of No. 2 Kansas City (22.5).
Why all the Olympic love in SLC? It’s not entirely clear, but it probably stems from the city hosting the Games in 2002, a fiercely patriotic display that came months after 9/11.
The Games do skew a bit older in Salt Lake, performing very well among viewers 35 and older. Stryker says this year’s Games may have even stronger appeal due to interest in the many issues plaguing host city Rio de Janeiro, such as political intrigue and the outbreak of the Zika virus.
“There might be more intrigue with the games in Rio and the instability there, which could lead to more viewers,” he says. “The most desirable large Olympic packages are gone, but small and general daypart and off-the-shelf options are still available.”
The London Olympics four years ago over-performed in ratings guarantees. That led to pricing that was flat to up slightly for advertisers who locked up inventory for the 2016 Games early.
The same can’t be said for advertisers looking to enter late, however.
“Because of the strength of our market right now, we are predicting the local NBC affiliate here is getting strong rate increases for any laggards trying to get in,” Stryker says.
Demand is also up for Salt Lake radio
Meanwhile, radio in Salt Lake is also healthy, with most dayparts showing increased demand versus a year ago.
Salt Lake is considered a mid-sized radio market–it ranks No. 29 in the nation, according to Nielsen–but it has a deep list of stations that perform consistently well. For example, in May there were 15 different stations that averaged at least a 3.0 average quarter-hour listener share, according to Nielsen Audio portable people meters.
Hot adult contemporary station KBZN-FM is the usual leader, and it won again in May with a 6.6 AQH share. Three stations tied for second at a 5.7 share: classic hits KRSP-FM, adult contemporary KSFI-FM and contemporary hits KXHT-FM.
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