BY JONATHAN BLUM, KAGAN While cable should get points for trying to close the CPM gap with broadcast, it’s important to be realistic about the work still ahead. Taking viewers 18-to-49, broadcast maintained about double the CPM over cable since 1998, with cable’s CPM actually dropping by about 10% in 2001. More importantly, that gap came in spite of growth in cable’s total ad revenue that essentially doubled broadcast’s growth for the period. The reason for the dual move is simple: Ad retrenchment and the increase in inventory from new programming sources cut into cost-per-thousand. The opportunity now is that broadcast CPMs fell in 2002, which could enable cable to take a bite out of broadcast’s rates, at least from a percentage perspective. However, at least in absolute terms, it is going to be some time before cable sees CPM parity with broadcast. For a complete look at the cable industry’s performance relative to other media, see “Cable TV Advertising Report” at www.kagan.com/cw.

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