NEW YORK: Cable TV company Viacom Inc, which  posted a 15% rise in net income for Q3 this week, believes that the TV advertising sector is set for what may be a mini-boom as the holiday season begins.

After a punishing year for advertising, Philippe Dauman, chief executive at the firm - which owns MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central - said that there were signs that both demand and prices were finally on their way up.

"There is demand out there at the moment," he said, adding that prices for last-minute commercials are currently up on the summer rates by "double-digit" percentages.

Dauman's cautious optimism was reinforced by Discovery Communications, whose US ad revenue through networks such as TLC and Animal Planet has increased by 4.8% in Q3.

Discovery's chief executive David Zaslav, said: "The market does feel more robust and while we can't predict where it will be in three weeks or four weeks, it feels much stronger."

Analsysts believe that after months of reining in their marketing plans, large US advertisers may decide to go on a spending spree during the holiday period.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff