While the pandemic had a big impact on local television revenues in 2020, the November elections ultimately kept the industry in a good position by year-end, according to the first quarter edition of BIA Advisory Services’ 2021 Investing In Television® Market Report.  Over-the-air (OTA) revenues reached $18.3 billion last year, with another $1.4 billion coming from digital revenues to make $19.7 billion total, versus a combined $18.3 billion in 2019. Political advertising alone accounted for $4.4 billion in 2020 to deliver a softer landing to an otherwise negatively impacted industry.

According to a release from the Chantilly, VA-based company, “a deeper dive into the numbers in 2020 shows that core advertising – defined as OTA revenue minus political advertising – drove industry revenues down negative 23.1 percent, like the impact the pandemic had on broadcast radio. But the rebound will slightly begin this year, with BIA estimating that core OTA advertising will rise 5.4 percent and revenues projected to be $14.9 billion for the year and in 2022 total local over the air station revenues are forecasted at $17.8 billion.”

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