By buying time on station subchannels rather than splitting ad revenue with an affiliation deal, multicast networks remain in charge of selling inventory and the stations collect a monthly fee with a minimum of effort and outlay. However, the upcoming spectrum auction could make subchannel space to rent a scarcer commodity. This is part 3 of a three-part special report. Read parts 1 and 2 here.
The multicast networks that stations are using to populate their subchannels are estimated to generate between $250 million and $350 million a year in total ad revenues, growing 4% to 5% a year. “It’s still early in the game, says Katz TV Media’s Bill Carroll. “They’re in the ‘build-out phase,’ the news being they’ve extended the reach, and enhanced the profile, of broadcast stations. A few are already visible in ratings terms, and others are quickly becoming so.” Here’s a look at the diginet trends and our exclusive ranking of the top 25 by TV household coverage.