Advertising Revenues of TV Broadcasters increased by 11% in 2020 thanks to Political Advertising, while Commercial Advertising decreased by 9%
TV advertising revenues totalled GEL 75.2 million in 2020, representing a 7.6 million increase compared to the previous year. Early in 2020, the Communications Commission predicted that despite the passiveness of the business sector, the advertising market would not be suffering heavy losses, as lower revenues from commercial advertising would be compensated by revenues from political adverts. The forecast of the Commission came true. In spite of the pandemic, total advertising revenues of TV broadcasters increased by 11% in 2020, with paid political adverts accounting for GEL 13.9 million.
The dynamics of commercial advertising by quarter were as follows: in the first quarter, revenues of TV broadcasters increased by 11%; the second quarter saw a 39% decrease; in the third quarter, the dynamics changed once again and broadcasters posted a 7% increase in revenues; the fourth quarter saw a 3% decrease. Total revenues from commercial advertising for the year 2020 decreased by 9%. However, as mentioned earlier, these losses were compensated by increased revenues from political advertising.
Analysis of the 2020 TV advertising revenues shows that the sharpest fall in revenues from commercial advertising occurred in the second quarter, when large-scale restrictions were imposed across the country due to the pandemic. New challenges affected every industry, including broadcasters and advertising contractors. It took a certain amount of time to adapt to the new reality and challenges. As predicted by the Commission, the TV advertising market rebounded in the third quarter and recorded a 7% increase in revenues.
The Georgian Public Broadcaster and Rustavi 2 accounted for the largest share of lost revenues from commercial advertising in 2020. Rustavi 2 recorded a loss of GEL 9.3 million, while the Georgian Public Broadcaster recorded a loss of GEL 344,000. As for the other broadcasters, their revenues from commercial advertising in 2020 were as follows:
TV Imedi: GEL 29 million in advertising revenues (GEL 3.3 million from political advertising); Rustavi 2: GEL 12.8 million in advertising revenues (GEL 2.1 million from political advertising); Mtavari Arkhi: GEL 11.1 million in advertising revenues (GEL 4.3 million from political advertising); TV Pirveli: GEL 6.2 million in advertising revenues (GEL 1.9 million from political advertising); GDS TV: GEL 2.8 million in advertising revenues (GEL 0.5 million from political advertising); TV Formula: GEL 2.3 million in advertising revenues (GEL 0.4 million from political advertising); POSTV: GEL 1.6 million in advertising revenues (GEL 0.3 million from political advertising).
The Georgian Public Broadcaster collected GEL 1.1 million in advertising revenues without airing paid political adverts. Silknet’s advertising revenues totalled GEL 1.4 million. The broadcaster did not air paid political adverts. Setanta Georgia collected GEL 0.76 million in advertising revenues, also without paid political adverts. Other broadcasters accounted for 8% of advertising revenues.
The picture that had existed on the TV advertising market during the past several years, whereby Imedi and Rustavi 2 accounted for more than 70% of the revenues, fundamentally changed in 2020. In 2017, Imedi and Rustavi 2 had 35% and 41% of the market, respectively; in 2018, Imedi had 34% of the market, while Rustavi 2 had 41%; in 2019, Imedi’s market share was 40%, while Rustavi 2 had a 33% share. As of 2020, the situation has changed, and 79% of the advertising market is now held by 4 different broadcasters – Imedi, Rustavi 2, Mtavari Arkhi and TV Pirveli.
More specifically, the distribution of advertising revenues in 2020 was as follows: Imedi – 39%, Rustavi 2 – 17%, Mtavari Arkhi – 15%, TV Pirveli – 8%, GDS TV – 4%, TV Formula – 3%, POSTV – 2%, other broadcasters – 12%.
As for the radio broadcasters, their advertising revenues in 2020 totalled GEL 6.8 million, which is 23% less than in the previous year. The fall in advertising revenues can be directly attributed to the impact of the pandemic.