Why 2022 Will Be a

Strong Year

for Local TV Advertising

Local TV sales teams should be optimistic for 2022. Experts forecast that local TV advertising will have a strong year, after wildly fluctuating returns from the previous years. Analysts described it as a “V-shaped recovery.” Let’s look at the projections and the factors driving this ad revenue recovery. We’ll also share ways to seize on these opportunities.
Why 2022 Will Be a Strong Year for Local TV Advertising

Local TV Advertising Projections for 2022

According to the BIA Advisory Services U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2022, the local TV broadcast industry will generate $21 billion in advertising revenue. That breaks down to $19.3 billion for over-the-air (OTA) and $1.7 billion for digital. Overall, that’s a lift of 26.5% over 2021.

In the analysis, local TV media comes in No. 4 out of  five channels, behind mobile, direct mail and desktop.

For broadcast TV sales professionals, this increase in ad spending is a golden opportunity to engage new local advertisers and retain more share of wallet from current customers.

OTA Chart
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Verticals Expected to Increase Spend in 2022

Many industries bounced back from the pandemic disruptions. That began in 2021 and will carry over into the coming year. According to BIA, these verticals will be the biggest spenders:


Legal Services




What Are the

Key Drivers Fueling

the Projected Increase for Local TV Advertising?

gas can
voting box
Key Driver:

Mid-Term Elections

BIA projects that local TV advertising spending for political ads will hit $3.4 billion. That’s inclusive of OTA, digital and OTT (over-the-top). Within that mix, 44.8% will be OTA. The leading markets will be:
New York
Los Angeles
2022 spend could rival that of 2020, a record-setting year for political advertising. What’s significant about this spend is that political advertising is at the local level during midterms, as there are no national races.
$1.5B CTV Ad Revenue
Apple TV

CTV Will Capture Meaningful Share

Ad buyers foresee the 2022 midterm elections to be the first campaign cycle where CTV (connected TV) will have meaningful market share, with $1.5 billion in expected revenue.
That forecast exceeds the digital projection of only $1.3 billion.
CTV offers targeting capabilities by geography and demographics.
These ads retain the large-screen presence of traditional TV spots.

How to Capture Political Ad Dollars

Identify local or state candidates that represent your area.
Pitch integrated campaigns that cover the spectrum, including traditional TV spots, OTT, CTV and other digital formats.
Evangelize why political candidates need to diversify channels for engagement.
Demonstrate how securing all their OTA and digital advertising through one provider simplifies billing, reporting and more.
Key Driver:

Digital Advertising Growth Fueling Resurgence

While the digital ad revenue for TV stations is a small portion of the overall 2022 projected numbers, BIA analysts state that digital is where long-term growth will occur. BIA estimates that OTT will reach $1.64 billion in 2022. Further, experts expect OTT to increase steadily by 19% CAGR through 2026.

Why Is OTT So Hot?

Consumer behavior is driving the change. They spent more time streaming during the pandemic lockdowns. Now, it’s a behavior and a habit.
Resumption of pre-pandemic activities isn’t impacting OTT’s trajectory.

How to Gain More Advertiser Dollars for Digital

Prepare your sales team with the right platform; that’s cross-channel advertising.
Provide advertisers with integrated campaigns that combine TV spots with digital.
Offer more services, gain more dollars, but you’ll also need your sales professionals to have high digital advertising literacy. That allows them to optimize campaigns and offer relevant advice.
$1.64BOTT Ad Spend by 2022
tv with people on devices
bag handle
$859 billion

Forecasted Holiday
Retail Spending

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Key Driver:

Positive Economic Signs

Another reason that local TV ad revenue will likely grow is simple economic recovery. Consumer confidence is increasing as of October 2021. Fewer U.S. consumers cited business conditions as “bad,” and their assessment of the labor market was moderately more favorable.

Other Positive Signs

The NRF (National Retail Federation) predicts the highest holiday retail sales on record. Their forecast projects between $834.4 and $859 billion, representing an 8.5 to 10% increase over 2020.
The U.S. GDP grew 2% in the third quarter of 2021. Even though it was the worst quarter since the economic recovery, economists are optimistic about the future. They relate that third-quarter lapse to the delta variant surge.
Supply chain woes are still present, but businesses are adapting.
The latest report from economists reveals strong signs of the economy returning to 2019-style spending patterns.

Talk to Advertisers About a Healthy Economy

In advertising, a healthy economy translates to more spending by businesses. With consumers ready to shop, travel, dine out, attend events and buy, advertisers will want their portion of this. The best way to do that is to be top of mind to their local market, both on TV and through digital advertising.
Key Driver:

New Advertisers Enter the Local Market

There’s a new advertiser type that some local TV stations will be able to pitch to, and that’s sports betting. Revenue from this vertical helped with recovery during 2021, and 2022 will see it grow as more states legalize it.

Since the legality is at the state level, advertisers look to local markets versus national advertising options. Nielsen described the opportunity as a “golden goose,” as it’s rare for TV to usher in a new ad category. They go on to report, based on data from BIA, that online gambling advertising skyrocketed from only $19.7 million in 2019 to an estimate of $587 million by 2024. TV accounts for 80% of this category of advertising.

Positioning the Opportunity

Local news and sports are the top program genres. Variety, drama and comedy have a share too. In working with sports betting advertisers, you aren’t pigeonholed into one programming type.
The opportunity to capture these ad dollars is cyclical, but sports never stop. The Big Game and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament are the two biggest betting events on the sports calendar. Those peaks come in February and March; however, there are many more sporting events throughout the year that bettors target.

Gambling Ad Spend

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Biggest Spenders

According to Nielsen, the advertisers that spent the most on local TV ads in Q1 2021 were:

$57.6 million

$43.6 million

$24.8 million

These advertisers are sports-betting focused, appealing to a specific demographic, which is now younger and more financially upward. Another factor boosting these ad types to the mainstream is that it’s no longer taboo. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell endorsed it as a way to create more fan engagement.
basketball with shadow
Key Driver:

2022 Winter Olympics

2022 is also an Olympics year. The 2022 Winter Olympics begin in February for China. One trend that will carry over from the 2021 Summer Olympics is the streaming aspect . By streaming, consumers have multiple options for viewing. It also allows for airing all sports, not just those with historically high audiences. However, spikes in streaming may flatten out after the three weeks of events.

Capitalizing on the Olympic Effect

Millions of consumers do tune in to see these once-in-a-lifetime type events. That can position your local station well to attract advertisers.
Consider the synergies between local companies and the winter games, and determine if there is something campaign-worthy.
Include TV spots during the OTA broadcasts and OTT/CTV ad options.
Identify segments of the population most likely to be watching the Olympics and how that aligns with an advertiser’s ideal buyer. For example, a local outdoor retailer may find their audience during skiing competitions
olympics logo
room and logo
Key Driver:

NextGen TV Offers New Revenue Stream

The final component of increasing your local TV ad revenue is NextGen TV, also known as ATSC 3.0.

What Is NextGen TV?

It’s a technology that delivers critical features to enhance the broad viewing experience. It enables:
Mobile device content consumption
4K quality
Theater-like audio
Video on demand
Interactive features
3.8% Projected TV Revenue
tv target

A New Ad Product with Potential

While NextGen TV is big news for consumers, it’s also a completely new ad product for TV. For markets that adopted the technology, the next step is monetizing it.
The projected revenue for TV alone is 3.8% and could grow to 8% when considering the entire spectrum. While it’s similar to OTT advertising, the biggest difference is that you’re using your O&O inventory, giving you the ability to collect first-party data.
NextGen TV advertising allows for hypertargeting, which is something any advertiser will find appealing. It’s a combination of geotargeting and using first-party data, such as previous click behavior.
Your advertisers aren’t buying spots like traditional TV with the assumption that their customers are watching local news or sports. Instead, you’re finding the audience they want through the targeting abilities.
It’s one more channel for your advertisers to get in front of local audiences, complementing linear and digital.
You can reach cord-cutters who no longer tune in to traditional TV. They can now watch local TV programs across devices with a better experience.

How Will You Capitalize on the Trends Driving Local TV Advertising in 2022?

The past few years have been a rollercoaster for media companies and their advertisers. All signs point to a more fruitful 2022. Armed with this data and insights, you’re now ready to prospect and pitch to local advertisers more effectively.

What Do You Need in Place?

A cross-channel advertising platform to streamline and automate, marrying traffic and third-party digital
A revenue management platform that incorporates dynamic pricing tools to price based on demand
A strategy to pitch to local advertisers effectively based on the drivers of 2022 ad revenue
A sales team that has expertise in both linear and digital tactics and can develop integrated campaigns. Training and upskilling will be necessary.
Explore how we bring TV, O&O and digital media sales together to accelerate your revenue opportunities. Simply complete the form, and we’ll be in touch to schedule a personalized consultation to hit your goals.
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