Broadcasting: What Ad Slump?

Even as cable lures away viewers, the TV networks are raking in record ad revenues. Here's why

Six months ago, the state of the TV networks seemed grim. For the first time during a regular television season, cable's basic channels had collectively passed the six broadcast networks in their share of the prime-time audience. Ad spending--down for all media since the start of the recession--seemed unlikely to do much to improve the picture. Some industry analysts were predicting that when the so-called up-front market began--the period in May and June when major advertisers reserve the bulk of their commercial time for the upcoming TV season--the networks would be lucky to match the dismal results of 2001, when revenues...

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