PARIS: Television advertising expenditure rose by nearly 6% worldwide in 2010, but the importance of commercial communications to the industry is slowly decreasing.

Research firm IDATE estimated that total TV revenues expanded by 7.1% on an annual basis last year, hitting €289.2bn ($386bn; £244bn).

This considerably improved on the acceleration of just 0.6% in 2009, reflecting the strengthening economic climate.

Adspend grew by 5.8%, while public financing jumped 6.9% and pay-TV sales leapt 8.4%, indicating a broader transformation which is impacting the category.

Until 2008, advertising supplied around 47% of turnover, measured against 44% for pay-TV, amounts shifting to 43% and 48% in 2009, as brand owners slashed budgets in the downturn.

In 2010, ads contributed 43% of all returns, with pay-TV delivering a further 48%, reinforcing the longer-term trend.

"These percentages should remain more or less stable in the coming years," said Florence Le Borgne, director of IDATE's TV and digital content business unit.

"Most of the mature markets are reporting encouraging growth rates, in particular thanks to increasingly higher advertising revenue.

"In the meantime, the pay-TV sector has consolidated its new status as the industry's most important source of income."

Indeed, IDATE stated pay-TV could generate at least 49% of the global television market by 2014.

The US retained its position as the world's largest outlet in 2010, boasting a turnover of €103bn, up 4.5% after a 0.7% decline in 2009.

However, North America's share dipped by a single percentage point, to 37%, during this period.

European figures climbed 6.6%, reaching €84.4bn, as the UK registered a 6.2% expansion, France logged a 5.3% increase and Germany saw a modest 1.2% lift.

These three major markets are responsible for 56% of the area's takings, according to IDATE.

Asia Pacific posted a 9.1% rise - holding a 22.3% share overall - but while India rose by 13.3% and China by 12.2%, Japan only recorded a 3.9% rise.

Latin America experienced a 12.8% gain, although Brazil still receives 44% of regional expenditure.

Africa and the Middle East observed 16.9% growth, attracting a joint 3.6% of global income.

Data sourced from IDATE; additional content by Warc staff