Stations Like Social Media, Dislike Digital Threat

For a while now, some media pundits have questioned the future of the TV station industry. But at least for the present, television stations, apparently are among the most progressive segments of the media industry when it comes to using, well, new media. In fact, television stations are the most tweet-friendly sector of the industry, according to NetProspex.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company, which follows social media activity, says the medium most likely to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are television stations. They give stations a 107 index, with newspaper a distance second place, at an index of 67.

But when it comes to media companies, the No. 1 social-friendly company is primarily a newspaper publisher: The New York Times Co., while the most social TV-centric company is Walt Disney Co., ranked 11th, followed by Scripps Networks (ranked 14th overall).

Clearly, TV stations understand the value of promotion and marketing -- especially when it comes to the newer marketing digital bells and whistles. Many experts have said social is a big reason television viewing, in total, continues to rise -- defying expectations - and the futurist predictions of some media pundits.

NetProspex confirms this in another way: The jobs with the most social activity are those in the creative, marketing and communications world.

But the big question is what kind of effect are TV stations having on consumers with their social media campaigns.

Looking at Nielsen ratings won't give you the answer, but television proponents will tell you the push into the social media -- as well as future mobile connections where live local TV newscasts will appear on all sorts of portable, hand-held devices -- will all significantly help TV stations survive in the digital world.

Still, a recent warning by the National Association of Broadcasters might tell you otherwise. Through a special "volunteer" auction, the FCC wants TV stations to effectively give up key spectrum space for new digital and mobile services and devices -- possible competitors, for sure.

The NAB warns this auction could become mandatory -- that the FCC might change this to an "involuntary" auction. All that would mean hundreds of TV stations going out of business, says the NAB.

For many, the only growth areas left for TV stations are, in fact, their ownership of this valuable digital territory. Giving them some leverage in the fast-changing entertainment world -- which adds to their seemingly effective social media efforts -- will allow them to compete with bigger and stronger digital entities that already seem to have a big head start.

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1 comment about "Stations Like Social Media, Dislike Digital Threat".
  1. Joe Jacobs , July 28, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.

    This 'loss of bandwidth' is a huge issue for TV stations as well as for us as consumers.

    It is similar to what happening to newspapers, the ones who create the content, and their loss of hard copy readership. If we give/sell that bandwidth to the new digital content purveyors, we stand to weaken what has been a strong source of our local and national news - broadcast and cable TV news journalism.

    It comes down to a value measurement between the two rivals: news content or more entertainment?

    In the digital age, anybody can write just about anything, post it up or distribute it, and call it 'news'. Most of this content follows none of the rules of solid news journalism.

    For my money, we Americans don't get enough solid news content and we get far too much to choose from when it comes to entertainment. I hope that the FCC gives a helping hand to the local TV stations when they render their decision. That would help us as well.