U.S. downturn: Cable’s okay and so’s advertising…really?

September 19, 2008

rupertmurdoch.jpgThere might have been concern in some quarters that the unfolding financial industry upheaval and its ensuing fallout would hurt the media industry, with financial advertisers getting hit and consumers tightening their belts.

But the media industry isn’t that concerned, according to CEOs who spoke this week at Goldman Sachs Media and Entertainment Communicopia investor conference. The execs said they were fairly comfortable that day-to-day operations of advertising and cable TV will get through the worst of this period relatively unscathed.

Cable and satellite executives who spoke at the event all acknowledged the economy is in a bit of difficult place right now but said this merely readjusted their respective plans for looking at borrowing in the capital markets for stock buybacks, acquisitions and asset divestitures.

But all said they don’t expect even hard hit customers to cut off cable or satellite TV.

“I think people look to television as something they can depend on,” said Chase Carey, Chief Executive of DirecTV Group Inc, the largest satellite TV provider.

“They cut out restaurants, they cut out theaters, but television is something they can hang on to in tough times,” said Carey.

Meanwhile advertising, often seen as one of the first areas to get hit in an economic downturn, has also been holding up nationally, according to national networks like Fox and CBS at the conference.

“The advertising on the upfront is holding incredibly. We’ve had almost no cancellations on the upfront,” said Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp, which owns Fox Networks.

(Photo: Reuters of News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch)

4 comments

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Or not. This is one of the first things I am shutting off, since I can download what I want, and it is quite simple to get free cable if need be. Its a rip off anyways, and equates to a corporate donation every month for mass media control and advertisements

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive

This is the first thing I have cut. I value Internet access far more and have no problem keeping up with programs I want to watch via the ‘net.

Paying for programming that still feeds you advertising? First thing to go.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

The media (for the most part) has demonstrated they favor the destruction of America and support globalization; why else would they NOT offer unbiased coverage of the military in Iraq and Afganistan and the campaign? The media ceased true news coverage in the late 1960′s…since then, the media reports views of its ownership. And they expect VIEWERS like you and me to buy their services? If any other provider of a service demonstrated this; they would be OUT OF BUSINESS !!

Posted by John Derrick | Report as abusive

Like previous posts; this is another consumer who views News Corporations (MSNBC, CBS, CNN and ABC) to be unworthy of expenditures. I discontinued buying any newspaper years ago and look to media-neutral providers of internet services.

I, like many, tend to shy away from doing business with any company who demonstrates bias in reporting…I interpret their bias as a slap to my integrity, like I can’t make decisions for myself and family without their “spin” ???

Posted by John Derrick | Report as abusive