Despite all the worries about TV viewers defecting to streaming services, big media companies continue to pile on the ads—one of the factors driving away viewers in the first place. A new report by Wall Street firm MoffettNathanson found that commercial time at channels owned by the big companies rose 2% in the second quarter. Discovery and AMC were more aggressive than most, while Viacom and NBC were the only ones to cut the ad load. Viacom’s channels have the highest ad load, though, so cutting it is just the start of the road to recovery.
The second quarter had some good news for traditional TV, however. For the first time in over four years, the rate of decline in the number of cable and satellite subscriptions slowed in the second quarter. And including people signing up for the cable-like “skinny bundle” streaming services, the numbers actually grew for the first time since 2012.