It attracted £847 million in ad revenue, an increase of 9.3 per cent over the same quarter last year, according to a new survey commissioned by the Advertising Association.
But TV's fortunes are in contrast to those of national newspapers, which saw their ad revenue drop by 1.6 per cent to £444 million, a decline of 3.1 per cent in real terms after adjusting for inflation.
Nevertheless, the figures show a significant increase in UK adspend for the third quarter to £3,349 million. This represents a rise of 3.6 per cent over the similar period in 2001, or 2 per cent in real terms.
Bruce Haines, the IPA president, said: "For advertisers who have been out of the public eye for a while, TV remains the fastest way to get a brand back to prominence. These figures suggest a flickering candle at the end of the tunnel but there's still a long way to go."
The only sector to come anywhere near TV's performance was direct mail, where spending increased by 8.6 per cent - or 6.9 per cent in real terms - to reach £554 million.
Outdoor contractors also saw fortunes improve with an increase of 5.1 per cent (3.5 per cent in real terms) to £183 million. Regional newspaper spending was up by 2 per cent to £713 million, while consumer magazines saw ad revenue rise to £190 million, an increase of 1.9 per cent.
Radio adspend remained virtually static. Although the figure grew by 0.7 per cent to £120 million, this was a decline of 0.8 per cent in real terms.
Business magazines' combined adspend tumbled from £318 million to £288 million, a drop of 7.4 per cent in real terms.