The COVID-19 pandemic chopped ad spending by 35% in April and traditional media companies suffered the brunt of the damage, according to research company Standard Media Index.
All of the major media companies took double-digit drops from a year ago, with AT&T’s WarnerMedia registering the biggest drop of 50.8% as its cable networks lost the NBA and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (Turner Sports had the Final Four and the championship game this year) to the virus.
Sports was also a factor as Fox’s ad revenues were down 46% and ViacomCBS shed 42.8%.
The Walt Disney Co., which owns ESPN, dropped 33.3%. Comcast’s NBCUniversal, which carries the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs, was down 33%.