Over-the-air (OTA) TV — the programming that we all have access to even if we don’t have a cable or satellite programming subscription — is becoming a big thing again. In fact, it’s one of the best things to happen to cord cutters and cord shavers, as it offers them free TV through a digital antenna. So what do we know about OTA households? Nielsen recently dived into the data to find out more about them — particularly, how many there are, what they look like and how they consume media.
Since internet-TV packages have begun to heat up in earnest, a question has hung in the air: Are they cannibals? Will these packages hurt their traditional counterparts, sometimes offered by the same company, by cannibalizing their customers. In short: Will people who have a $100-a-month DirecTV package right now trade it down for something smaller and digital? In a new report from UBS analysts led by John Hodulik, the answer seems to be “yes.”
Over-the-top “skinny bundles” are continuing to grow, and their subscribers are streaming plenty of content, but for now, they’re still a relatively small piece of the puzzle compared to traditional cable or satellite subscriptions as well as all over-the-top viewing (including people who subscribe to OTT services like Netflix while still having traditional cable).
The slow-motion crumbling of pay TV has suddenly started to look like a looming avalanche. The unprecedented surge in cord-cutting during the first three months of 2017 has heightened Wall Street fears that the industry’s enormously profitable big bundle of channels is coming apart at the seams — for real this time.
Basketball players must pivot for tasks like squaring to the basket, blocking out for a rebound or getting away from defensive pressure. In a similar way, TV stations and other media need to keep one foot rooted in the core business while making calculated and strategic changes in position. The bottom line is that daily content planning must encompass both linear and digital platforms. Digital cannot be an afterthought if it’s to succeed.
A new Air TV set-top box from Dish’s Sling TV combines an ability to stream Sling and other OTT platforms like Netflix with live over-the-air channels. The company revealed the device, possibly by accident, on Tuesday.
Dish Network and EchoStar are getting close to the launch of Sling AirTV, a new product that integrates over-the-air broadcast television with Dish’s SlingTV streaming video service, a roundabout way of providing local channels customers have been clamoring for.
Sinclair Broadcast Group has embarked on a campaign to let consumers know they don’t need the pay-TV ecosystem to enjoy their local TV stations. Sinclair, which controls 173 network affiliates in 81 markets, has partnered with NAB-backed TV Freedom and Antennas Direct for what’s being billed as the “Broadcast TV Liberation Tour.”
Research by GfK shows almost four in 10 homes with an 18-34 year-old resident rely on broadcast-only or Internet-only alternatives to cable or satellite.
The new diginet, which shows TV watchers what’s playing over broadcast airwaves in a two-hour timespan, is currently broadcasting at 12 stations around the country.
Of the TV watchers surveyed who said they’re highly inclined to drop their pay TV subscription service, 8.8% are connected TV users, compared to the 3.5% who are non-connected TV users, according to a new report by The Diffusion Group.
Football fans in Wisconsin aren’t letting the blackout of Journal Broadcasting stations on Time Warner Cable systems get in the way of watching the year’s first preseason Packers game against the Arizona Cardinals on Friday. Many have been shopping for antennas and, if people have older TVs, digital TV converter boxes, so they can watch NBC affiliate WTMJ Milwaukee over the air.
Broadcast Interactive Media and Channel Master have teamed up on a Web-based tool called Antenna Choice that, after consumers plug in their address, determines which antenna is right for them. After trying out the new tool, however, I was advised to buy one of the most expensive antennas, when a basic, more affordable model would have worked just as well.
Nearly six million more people are relying on over-the-air broadcast television than a year ago, according to a new survey from GfK Media & Entertainment.
As station execs plot strategy for the next 10 years, they need to consider the role that over-the-air broadcasting — especially in the advanced, more potent form contemplated by ATSC 3.0 — will play. In the meantime, they need to find the sweet spot. They need to encourage some cord-cutting so as to maintain a high percentage of OTA-only homes and their advantage over cable channels. At the same time, they don’t want the percentage to go so high that it starts really irritating cable and satellite operators and cutting significantly into their retrans revenue stream.
New research shows minorities, younger consumers more likely to rely on broadcasting; that 17.8% figure is up from 15% last year.
Stations may not be promoting the advantages of replacing cable and satellite with a rooftop antenna for a couple of reasons: fear of losing retrans revenue and not wanting to alienate cable systems that advertise on their air. But one stations thinks it’s found a solution: convincing a local antenna installer to advertise. I’m guessing the station can generate more in revenue each month from antenna installers than the company will lose in retrans revenue. And even if it doesn’t, the station will benefit in ways harder to calculate: from strengthening broadcasting as a local advertising medium, weakening rival cable and sending the message to Washington that broadcasting is here to stay.