Cable TV keeps gaining ground on the four broadcast TV networks and automakers are taking advantage of it.
According to Competitive Media Reports, automotive ad spending on cable TV increased last year, despite strikes at General Motors that halted the automaker's ad spending.
Automakers spent $402.3 million on cable TV ads from January through October 1998, compared with $373.7 million during the same time in 1997.
By comparison, automakers spent $3.4 billion on network TV advertising during the first 10 months of 1998 compared with $4.1 billion during the same time in 1997.
The four networks are CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.
Lincoln Mercury switched most of its TV ad budget from broadcast to cable TV for the 1999 model year.
Dodge announced a deal Jan. 19 for a multimedia advertising deal, which includes sponsoring insider reports on the Cable News Network and ads on the CNN Airport Network, which is available at 1,300 gates in 32 airports.
'The erosion of broadcast continues to be enormous,' said Joseph Ostrow, president of the New York-based Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau.
'The automotive industry has been very supportive of cable,' he said.
Last year, cable TV's prime time reach increased 12.7 percent to 39.8 percent of U.S. households, while broadcast TV's prime time reach fell by 6.3 percent to 54 percent of U.S. households.