Cable advertising won’t be the big saviour for cable system operators anytime soon. Cable operators will collectively only hit $5.3 billion in local cable advertising sales within five years, a number that is far lower than the $15 billion they had expected. It will take longer than expected for cable operators, programming networks, and advertisers to figure out exactly what new metrics and business models should be in place since the new metrics will take advantage of all the new set-top-box data. Local cable advertising dollars will still be stuck in a slow-to-recover economy with ad revenue dropping by 22% in 2009, after an 8% loss in 2008. It may even be 2016 before US cable MSOs pass $10 billion in annual cable advertising revenues. There have been signs of slowed growth, especially because of the fact that all the cable operator partners behind the industry’s main local cable advertising effort may have different agendas for finding an industry-accepted cable advertising system. Now it appears that whatever problems have been ironed out among the cable industry players, there are many more hurdles to consider, based on what TV networks, media agencies, and advertisers really want. But the good news is that the money is still in the cable set-top-box dream. Big media agencies and their clients still see traditional television advertising as the main medium for their expensive media plans.