Things are tough in the Australian TV advertising market as the major metropolitan networks slug it out for their share of increasingly elusive advertising dollars.

In the six months to June 30, overall revenue growth declined by half to 6.5% compared with the same period last year, totalling A$1.18 billion (US$763m; €633m; £44m).

A consensus of media buyers predict 4%-5% TV advertising growth for the 2005 calendar year, although Mitchell & Partners chairman Harold Mitchell is clutching his lucky rabbit's foot and sticking to his original forecast of seven per cent.

But in a belt-tightening climate, even the senior honchos are door-knocking. Network Nine's interim boss Sam Chisholm has been visiting advertisers and media buyers in an attempt to persuade them to allocate more than 40% of their second-half TV advertising budgets to the Packer-controlled network.

Meantime, Kerry Stokes' Seven has made a robust recovery from its worst-ever market share result in H2 2004, when it plunged to 29.9%. The first half of 2005 saw the network lift share to 31.3%, or $401.1m in folding money.

It's a different story at Ten. At the end of the last year the network enjoyed 31.5% of the metropolitan market, but slid to 30.6% at the end of the June half.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff