NEW YORK: Television broadcasters in the US could experience a "slight softening" of demand from advertisers during the last quarter of 2011, an executive has indicated.

Philippe Dauman, chief executive of Viacom, said that the scatter market – ads sold close to broadcast rather than far in advance – was likely to be particularly affected.

But certain advertiser categories, such as movie studios, automakers and insurers, are outperforming.

In its latest financial results, Viacom said that its ad revenue was up 7% in the fiscal fourth quarter. Over the previous three months, this annual increase was 12%.

Viacom is the fourth-largest media firm in the US and owner of cable channels including MTV and BET.

"Ad sales growth will face some headwinds from a slight softening in volume in the current scatter market, although, pricing remained strong," Dauman said.

"[Movie] studios continue to be a very strong advertising category for us and growth in the number of film releases should help in the current quarter."

Over recent weeks, volatile economic conditions have heightened fears that mature markets such as the US will experience a slowdown in economic growth or may even enter a double-dip recession.

According to Warc's latest International Ad Forecast, US TV adspend will increase by 2.8% across 2011 as a whole, just ahead of the all-media total of +2.5%.

Data sourced from Seeking Alpha/Wall Street Journal/Warc; additional content by Warc staff