NextGen TV Is Coming: More A Slow Walk Than A Sprint For Advertisers, Viewers

NextGen-enabled TV stations continue to grow, now reaching around 45% of all U.S. TV viewers.

Recently, all seven full-power Richmond, Virginia stations started broadcasting with that technology.

But what does this mean for local TV advertisers? Very little so far.

Success isn not just adding more markets that are looking to transition to the new technology.

Just in case you forgot, those TV viewers need to get NextGen-enabled TV sets to access all the fancy digital media-like stuff, including 4K ultra high-definition video-quality, interactive TV programming, theater-like sound, and mobile reception.

Proponents also believe new set-top boxes could upgrade current users' TV sets.

As Rob Weisbard, president and chief revenue officer of Sinclair Broadcast Group, said to TVNewsCheck: “We are still probably five years down the pipeline from that. Buying cycles for television sets are a seven-year cycle. We are probably in year two of ATSC 3.0 sets hitting the marketplace and so to reach enough saturation in the marketplace is still about five years down the road.”



Five years is a long time. But Weisbard believes free, over-the-air TV is still a good thing -- especially long term. This is because TV consumers will continue to adjust their pay TV packages, as well as all their new streaming services.

So there will be a lot of "churn." But many believe the result is that free, streaming services -- as well as over-the-air TV -- will come out in an improved position as TV households increasingly look at their monthly spend on all their in-home entertainment.

But it’s not just NexGen technology.

There are other things that need to come with this. How will advertisers analyze this new technology?

Weisbard believes measurement for NextGen-enabled TV stations will need new third-party measurers. This means going well beyond Nielsen, and growing Nielsen competitor Comscore.

So for many, NextGen TV may be coming along, but maybe we should call it Slow Gen.

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