Scripps To Offer Newsy As Free, OTA Network
The E.W. Scripps Co. will soon launch its popular over-the-top national news network Newsy over the air as well — serving the growing free OTA market of cord-cutting self-bundlers.
Newsy’s distribution over the air will make it the only American news television network with ubiquitous OTT and OTA distribution, Scripps says.
At its launch on Oct. 1, Newsy will be available over the air in at least 80% of U.S. television homes — and in all major markets — carried primarily by Scripps-owned Ion stations and select Scripps stations plus those of other station groups.
“Amid an increasingly polarized and divided national climate, Newsy will seize upon this opportunity to serve more Americans seeking quality objective journalism,” said Scripps Networks President Lisa Knutson. “As TV viewers ‘self-bundle’ by combining free television with subscription video-on-demand services, Newsy will build on its successes in OTT by joining the other Scripps Networks in the over the air marketplace to bring these viewers high-quality, free news programming.”
Newsy offers viewers reporting that Scripps says “informs instead of influencing — providing fresh perspective, no-hype delivery and added context.” The network targets a highly coveted audience of active news consumers falling into the millennial demographic, making it a natural fit for the OTA marketplace, it says. Over-the-air viewing is experiencing rapid growth today, with digital antenna ownership up 40% from 2019 to 2020, to more than 50 million U.S. TV households, according to an October 2020 OTA usage study by Horowitz Research.
Newsy’s journalism is Emmy-nominated and has won prestigious awards including the Scripps Howard Award for Innovation, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Journalism Grand Prize Award, National Edward R. Murrow Award and Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Newsy will be headquartered in Atlanta and will have nearly a dozen bureaus across the country, including in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Denver and Phoenix. It will continue to leverage the resources of the Scripps Washington Bureau and Scripps’ TV stations in 41 markets.
The network’s newsgathering and programming plans, under the leadership of the incoming head of news, Kate O’Brian, will be announced over the coming months.
Now carried on nearly every major streaming service, Newsy’s launch on OTA builds on its traction in the OTT marketplace, where it has shown strong audience engagement and record revenue growth.
“Scripps expects to capitalize on the growing and younger OTA audience by continuing to build a leading news brand that caters to a younger generation of active news viewers,” Knutson said. “With the launch of Newsy OTA, we lock in more valuable TV real estate for viewers to engage with our programming, allowing us to further monetize our already unparalleled ad inventory.”
Newsy is available on connected TV platforms including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Chromecast as well as over-the-top services including Pluto TV, Xumo, Samsung TV+ and Vizio WatchFree.