Blockbuster Q1 results in the cards for TV broadcasters


The combination of vigorous cost-cutting through the recession and an up-year in television’s two year up-and-down cycle has Wells Fargo Securities analysts seeing the possibility of high-teens and even low-20s growth for TV group. They used the word “blockbuster” to sum up.

On top of the return of Olympic spending (which of course is now over) and political spending, which will continue to heat up as the year progresses (with regional upticks keyed to the primaries), the return of automobile manufacturers to the advertising mix will be a big revenue driver. WFS’s Bishop Cheen and colleagues see television ad pacing growth at anywhere between 30% and 70%.

Some of the cost savings instituted under recession conditions are sustainable, but others are not, and as a result expenses are expected to go up in 2010. Television financial executives will be focused on paying down debt.