Bulgarian TV stations cope with ad market decline

By Pavlina Jeleva
    A TNS/TV Plan survey shows the Bulgarian TV advertising market has decreased 8.6% in the first half of 2009, to 151 million Euros, compared with the same period in 2008.

    The survey monitored 33 Bulgarian TV channels.

    A primary reason for the decline was a lowering of prices at the end of 2008, along with more package offers. Simultaneously, most of the ad agencies started to offer more flexible financial conditions to their clients.

    Holding 41.7 % of the market share bTV (www.btv.bg) registered a decrease of only 3.6%, the smallest among the top ten TV channels. The second place channel Nova TV (www.novatv.bg), owned by the Swedish Modern Times Group (MTG), reported a 29.5% decrease. On the other hand the smaller Diema Family channel (www.diema.bg) owned by the same group showed an increase of 4.8%.

    Owned by the Central European Media Enterprices (СМЕ) Pro BG (probg.bg, formerly TV2) demonstrates a spectacular 82.5% income increase as it moved in third place. Promoted as a purely entertaining channel focused on the young audience, GTV (www.gtv.bg) showed an increase of 29.9%.

    Although not part of the top ten income list, for the first time the Bulgarian National TV (www.bnt.bg) achieved a 10% income increase. According to the head of the advertising department of the channel Ani Dimitrova, quoted by the Capital weekly "the national TV channel tries to apply a new behavior towards its clients with much more directs contacts with them."

    But the general negative tendency in the advertisement market is far from being optimistic. According to financial experts in the freshly elected Bulgarian government, the economic crises in Bulgaria has still not reached its peak.