Seattle, the TV Market: Big Bump (Again!) from the Super Bowl


Seahawks are in it for the second straight year

By Diego Vasquez,

January 26, 2015

seattleThe Seattle Seahawks will play in their second consecutive Super Bowl on Sunday, and for the second straight year the team is providing a huge boost to an already healthy media market.

To say the Seattle market loves its football team would be an understatement.

Seahawks playoff games have surpassed 90 shares in key demos, meaning 90 percent of the market tuned in, and some expect the Super Bowl to reach a 100 share in the market during certain quarter-hours.

In fourth quarter 2014, the team generated about $6 million in TV ad spending, buyers say, and affiliates airing games this season averaged about $35,000 per spot each game.

As of last week the remaining local spots available for the Super Bowl were going for more than $250,000 each.

“Now that the Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl, every broadcast station is out there selling anything big game-related,” says one station manager.

“Lots of special news and prime programming, and also digital opportunities.”

Overall, TV pricing in the Seattle market is flat to up slightly versus last year, and most dayparts outside of daytime, late fringe and weekends are active.

Overall spending is expected to be flat in 2015 versus last year, which was up mid- to high-single-digits with help from political spending and the Olympics.

Strong categories on local TV include auto, furniture, casinos, financial and healthcare, while restaurants and retail are active but lagging slightly behind last year.

Like many other markets, Seattle is in the midst of a boom of new local news programming, adding more hours in early morning and late afternoons.

“This seems to be the biggest area of growth for local stations as network prime numbers continue to decline due to time-shifted viewing,” says another station manager.

Meanwhile, Seahawks football has impacted the radio market in Seattle as well, with a number of stations seeing incremental bumps. But the biggest beneficiaries are the market’s sports stations, KIRO-AM and KJR-AM.

Last year was healthy for radio in Seattle, up about 3 percent, but it’s harder to project how this year will play out because a lot of business comes in at the last minute.

Also, while many advertisers have gravitated toward newer digital audio options, buyers in the market continue to stress the importance of live local radio.

“We’re human, we want to connect,” says Katrina Stroh, associate director of media strategy at the Seattle agency Media Plus. “While our firm buys a lot of Pandora and it’s a great product with a lot of value, it’s that DJ banter that I look forward to.

“For one of our good clients we leverage station talent and their social capabilities to conduct and promote live events.”

Seattle has a wide variety of radio options, with more than 20 different stations posting at least a 2.0 average quarter-hour listener share during the holiday ratings period, according to Nielsen Audio portable people meters.

Adult contemporary station KRWM-FM dominated with its all-holiday format, posting a 10.7 AQH share during that period. Contemporary hits station KQMV-FM was a distant second with a 5.6 share.


Note: The chart below includes only primetime programs. The NFC championship game, which Seattle won over the Green Bay Packers, did not air in primetime but it was the week’s No. 1 program overall in the market, posting a 52.3 share and 86 share.


Top 20 Primetime Programs
Week Ending Jan. 18
# Station Program Rating (Viewers) Share Total Viewers (000)
1 KIRO AFC CHMP-CBS 20.6 46 905
4 KIRO AFC CH PST-CBS 9.1 21 401
5 KIRO NCIS-CBS 8.3 22 365
6 KIRO NCIS:NO-CBS 7.0 20 306
7 KIRO SCORPN-SUN-CBS 6.0 14 263
8 ESPN COLL FTBL BOWL 5.6 16 244
9 KIRO KIRO POST GAME 4.7 11 207
10 KING 5TH QUARTER 4.7 11 206
11 KOMO MODRN FMLY-ABC 4.7 13 205
12 KCTS MASTRPC CLS B 4.4 11 192
13 KIRO BIG BANG-CBS 4.2 12 186
14 KIRO MOM-CBS 3.7 10 163
15 KIRO KIRO7NWS SP ED 3.7 9 161
16 KOMO MIDDLE-ABC 3.6 10 158
17 KIRO BLUE BLOOD-CBS 3.4 12 150
18 KIRO MIKE&MOLLY-CBS 3.4 8 149
19 KIRO TWO&HLF MN-CBS 3.2 9 142
Source: Nielsen



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