Why Advertisers Just Can’t Quit Linear TV

In the face of a ratings free fall, broadcasters are boasting about a record amount of early ad commitments

David Zaslav said it best a few weeks ago: “Every [month] you deliver less tomatoes in the wheelbarrow, and every month you get paid more for your tomatoes.”

The Discovery president and CEO was talking about the fact that dwindling broadcast and cable TV ratings are not having a negative impact on advertising revenues. Nielsen ratings, the currency that ad buyers and TV networks have used for decades to determine how much to pay (or charge) for commercials, have not been pretty over the last few years, and got a whole lot worse during the past COVID-hobbled year.

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Tim Baysinger

TV reporter • tim.baysinger@thewrap.com • Twitter: @tim_bays