Last week on CBS' earnings call CEO Les Moonves raved that the advertising business is strong, and what's more looks like it will continue to be over the next two quarters.
And there are no signs of economic weakness. "Back in 2008, we saw it coming. It was there in bright shining lights," Moonves said in CBS' fourth quarter earnings call Thursday afternoon.
"We're not seeing anything remotely resembling that now. And we have visibility through Q2 in terms of our advertising, which is sort of normal, if not even more aggressive than normal. So that's why I'm so optimistic about the upfront [ad sales period in May]," he said.
And in a new report, Pivotal Research Group's Brian Wieser finds that the national TV ad market rose as much as 7 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, and as much as 2 to 3 percent for the full 2015. That may not sound like a lot, but it contradicts predictions that the explosion of streaming video options, and the lower TV ratings they've brought, would lead to a dramatic decline in the TV ad market.
Wieser predicts that national TV will fare at least as well in 2016 as it did last year.
"We believe this is because for advertisers, ad budget decisions focus on least-bad alternatives," said Wieser. But he cautions that 2016 won't see "easy growth," warning that "investors shouldn't expect that national TV can do much better than the total market in advertising."