Turner Exec: DTV Transition Will Hurt Broadcast Ratings
Says 'Tonight Show's' move to primetime provides opening for cable
By Linda Moss -- Multichannel News -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/10/2008 2:58:00 PM
Complete Coverage: UBS Global Media and Communications Conference
The broadcast networks are already having a “turbulent” TV season, shedding more than 2 million viewers, and the transition to all-digital signals in February will hurt the medium even more, a top Turner research executive said Wednesday.
“The broadcast networks know. The broadcast stations know this is a significant, substantial challenge to their futures,” Turner chief research officer Jack Wakshlag said.
At a year-end ratings press briefing here, Wakshlag also told reporters that Jay Leno’s switch to the 10 p.m. time slot next fall on NBC will present an opportunity for cable to pick up viewers.
During his presentation, Wakshlag said the six broadcast networks have lost 2.6 million households in primetime season to date, the equivalent of the Philadelphia TV market.
Read the full story at www.multichannelnews.com.
Eric, while I am a Reseacher at a Broadcast TV Network and wish your statements regarding Nielsen's sample could be true, the reality is that their sample does contain OTA Households. Their sample for broadcast-only is about 1,600 of the 15,000 metered Households (12%) in their National survey, so we will have to take into account that many of those Households will have subscribed to cable in the coming months. Instead of pretending that might not happen, as broadcasters, we need to be proactive and figure out strategies, whether they be by marketing smarter or programming better to retain these viewers and draw back currently cable subscribers. Now that we are basically on an even playing field, it also wouldn't hurt if the FCC regulations that bind us yet give cable networks free license to program what they want were lifted, as well as a reduction in the carriage fees the cable operators pay out to the cable nets. Also, you need to take into account that many Households with multiple TV sets may not digitally update their 2nd or 3rd TV's - TV's that your station's viewers may be watching while the primary TV is destination viewing a particular program on a cable network. Come February, your station goes "off the air" on those TV's while the primary set is still tuned in to their destination program on cable. Why not worry about the worst-case scenario so we insure it doesn't happen instead of just seeing what is going to happen and hoping for the best?
SML - 12/11/2008 6:27:00 PM EST
This is just another example of how people don't understand how ratings work. Nielsen isn't a rating of science, it's a rating of what the newtorks want.
For example if 15% of the populaton doesn't use cable or dishes, Nielsen's statistical sample doesn't have 85% dish/cable and 15% over the air. We don't know what Nielsen's sample is and they won't tell.
For all we know everyone in Nielsen's sample could have dish/cable. So the DTV transition won't effect the networks at all, if that was the case.
The networks decide WHAT kind of viewer they want to measure, for example Males 18-39 or females 14-25 and Nielsen provides them data for that market.
Nielsen is NOT a scientific sample, nor does Nielsen ever claim to be scientific. No one knows if it's accurate. It's just the industry standard.
Eric Post - 12/11/2008 12:28:00 PM EST
ANOTHER REASON TO DELAY SHUT-OFF of analog signals until stations can install repeaters to fill "dead" zones in the signal footprint, and to give viewers more time to get their backlogged gov't coupons and the proper antennas. This shut-off won't just hurt the 10 mil.+ viewers who depend on over-the-air TV -- it will decimate broadcasters in a down economy and will force them to give costly makegoods to advertisers. Where are the leaders of broadcasting? Telling investor audiences that they may give up affiliates in favor of going to cable, as Les Moonves said this week? Here's why broadcasters MUST ask Congress to delay analog shut-off:
Vic Livingston, columnist, NowPublic.com/scrivener - 12/10/2008 9:20:00 PM EST
No related content found.
No Top Articles
Digital Rapids provides market-leading software and hardware solutions, technology and expertise for transforming live and on-demand video to reach wider audiences on the latest viewing platforms more efficiently, more effectively and more profitably. Empowering applications from..more