The coverage of the US tragedy by US TV networks has effected the bottomline of the media companies. From the first word of attack on September 11, all of the major networks in the US – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox – put their regular programming on hold and cancelled advertising for what became a marathon news broadcast of unprecedented length.
CBS was one of the first TV company to drop out of the news race, airing a thriller on Saturday at midnight. CNN held out a bit longer, waiting until Monday morning to air its first commercial following the terror attacks. But more than a week later, the networks are getting down to the business of reviewing the finance and are confronted with both a considerable jump in costs – with more technical expenses and more people in the field and a drastic drop in advertising revenue.
Viacom, which owns CBS, MTV and an array of radio stations, became the first to issue a warning by announcing its 2001 earnings would be lower than anticipated.
According to New York based research firm CMR, the major network lost some $320 million in advertising revenue in the days following the attacks—a development generating even more concern because of it follows sign of an already weakening advertising market earlier in the year, along with the downfall of numerous dotcoms and a drop in US growth.