mardi 12 septembre 2017

Broadcast only, why not?

In the US the number of broadcast-only homes is increasing, reaching 15.9 million (there are 126 million TV households, according to Nielsen, commissioned by the broadcast company Ion Media). 13% of TV households do not pay for TV and there is no tax on TV set ownership like in most European countries ("redevance TV", "TV licence", Rundfunkbeitragetc.). In other words, 87% of American TV households pay for TV, one way or another, subscribing to cable or satellite.
The number of households which do not pay is increasing : up by 41% in the five last years, the study says. Why? Subscribing to MVPD (cable or satellite) has become very expensive, too expensive, especially for those who are not interested in watching sports (ESPN, etc.). There are more and more cord-cutters (do not subscribe anymore), not to mention cord-nevers, people who never subscribed or will never subscribe to any kind of MPVD (Mutiple Video Programming Distributors).

Why did Ion Media commission Nielsen for such a study? Ion Media owns 60 full-power broadcast stations, covering 98 million homes (present in the top 20 DMAs). Part of Ion Media turnover comes from advertising on its stations : it is crucial for Ion Media to highlight that only 16 million homes receive local stations (via a TV antenna or Over-The-Air, OTA). For advertisers, the only way to reach these broadcast-only households is to buy local time from a TV station.
Cord-cutters or cord-nevers can choose to watch Netflix for series and movies (without commercials, for a basic price of $8) and live TV and local news using an antenna (free). Given that the average cable TV bill is more than $100, cord-cutting seems to be a bargain even if you subscribe to more than one streaming service... Not surprisingly, cord-cutting is on the rise.

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