Hank Price: “Every local general manager and news director is well aware of their need to constantly build and maintain viewer trust. Trust is not optional. To lose it is to go out of business.”
Impressions-based advertising will not be the last word in consumer measurement, but it is an important transitional step to the future. In a few years we will look back and wonder why it took so long.
The sad fact is that Marianne Williamson has a better shot at getting elected president than a new syndicated show does of becoming a hit. Williamson’s crystal gazing at least brings something new.
Hank Price: That crucial point in the long-running retrans standoff will come Sept. 5, the day the regular NFL season kicks off on NBC. If there is one thing that will cause consumers to change providers, it is the loss of NFL football. Should that happen, it will be a boon to the cable light OTT services. And the stakes are just as high for Nexstar since the NFL is a very specific advertising buy.
Hank Price: There is no question ATSC 3.0 will be a great quality advance for television stations. The picture alone makes the upgrade a must have, but it too will be challenged by a wireless competitor: 5G. 5G will empower two-way 3.0 services, but it will also function as a direct competitor, offering far more services than 3.0 alone is capable of.
For now, most station groups continue to use representation, indicating a desire to make the system work, but no one can ignore the dramatic change in landscape. Unless the reps learn to serve the new marketplace, their days are numbered.
Netflix’s major Q2 shortfall on new subscribers signals that OTT services are beginning to learn what broadcasters have long known: not everything will be a hit, and even the best programming has a shelf life.
With the financial pressure on system operators, pitted against need for broadcasters to eventually achieve parity with the most-watched cable networks, retrans fights and blackouts are bound to sometimes happen. The sad reality is that in the short term everyone loses. Viewers lose their favorite programs, stations lose news viewers, DirecTV loses subscribers and station general managers lose their minds.
As legislation is being proposed to regulate Big Tech, broadcasters should realize that any regulation involving use of the internet by business will eventually affect television stations, particularly any encroachment on the First Amendment. This is a genuine concern because one of the bubbling issues is who can post what information.
Hank Price: “The commitment of local broadcasters and their owners to the communities they serve is legendary. No corporation is perfect, nor is every policy. Employees have the right to disagree and should do so when they believe something is wrong, though hopefully not on a public forum.”