Stations: Web Revenue Still Drop in the Bucket

Over 1,000 TV stations air local news, but online revs just 3%, says survey
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TV stations get around 85% of their revenue from on-air advertising, while online revenue clocks in at a lowly 3%, according to a local broadcast survey from RTDNA/Hofstra University. Retransmission consent revenue tallies 11%, with another 1% attributed to miscellaneous revenue.

Mobile revenue comes in near zero for most stations, says the study's author, Bob Papper.

The RTDNA/Hofstra survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2014 among all 1,688 operating, non-satellite television stations, as well as a random sample of 3,704 radio stations.

There are 717 local TV newsrooms that run news on their own air or on 328 stations with which they have some sort of content agreement. That puts the total number of stations running local news at a record 1,045.

In terms of news budgets, a year ago, a majority of newsrooms had budget increases for the first time since 2007. But the overall percentage that went up slid back below the 50% mark this year.

Stations continue to seek content and distribution partners beyond their four walls. The percentage of stations involved with other media is just about the same as a year ago, edging down from 75.9% last year to 75.1% this time around. "That's still a very high number," said Papper.

Nearly 28% of TV stations reported being involved in a shared services (or similar) arrangement with another station.

(Photo via Ervins Strauhmanis's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 19, 2014 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

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