Streaming Fallout: A New Promotion Strategy For TV Network Partners, Local TV Stations, Cable Systems?

TV stations and legacy pay linear TV providers have concerns about future streaming and digital business, especially as their partners -- big media content companies -- continue to pursue all kinds of direct-to-consumer (D2C) business.

Shifting business away from traditional media distribution partners has been an issue for years. This includes TV stations and local cable systems.

That's why local TV station groups, for one, continue to expand into other businesses -- such as buying or starting up many locally digital based over-the-air TV networks.

For its part, cable system companies Charter Communications and Comcast Corp. -- looking to compete with the likes of Roku and Amazon Fire TV -- are pushing an effort to launch a national digitally based streaming distribution business.

The rub now comes as legacy owners want to accelerate new streaming business.



For example, while ESPN+, the Disney-owned streaming service, does air some Major League Baseball games, it does not air a bigger schedule of live games on its main sister cable TV network ESPN.

That is not to conflict with local cable TV operators that carry ESPN and sell high-priced local advertising time.

But what about the day Disney decides to spin out ESPN -- going direct-to-consumer? Right now there is too much money still being made with the traditional TV and cable ecosystem.

That is why Fox Nation and other TV network-associated streamers like NBC News Now offer very limited live news content -- to avoid competing with their older, bigger media channel businesses: Fox News Channel and MSNBC, respectively.

But the trend does not stop with needy, big legacy-media companies to find ways to expand -- and that can always be a concern for local TV distribution partners.

For their part, TV stations have also been deeply involved in selling locally and regional OTT ad inventory from their owned and non-owned apps -- to help extend local TV reach for marketers who need it.

All this complements what TV stations have been doing for some time -- boosting local TV news content

Where do TV stations go now?

In recent years there has been much focus on local TV stations and local pay TV providers -- cable systems in particular -- providing promotional and advertising value for TV networks' content -- as well as their own locally produced TV content.

For TV stations, the coming ATSC 3.0 new standard could be a new opportunity to deepen that relationship.

While this will not send huge chunks of dollars directly to the bottom line, it remains a good place to begin expanding their relationship even more so in the digital age.

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