Digital Antennas, New Set-Top Equipment For Local TV Stations, Viewers: More Stuff - For More TV?

Every digital and over-the-air TV corner of the business keeps growing -- with the need for lots of attention. We might expect a continuing glut of entertainment advertising fighting for a specific pool of video customers' attention.

Looking to grow the digital over-the-air TV network industry -- and its own nine networks -- Scripps Networks is spending $20 million in a campaign to get consumers to consider buying digital antennas.

Scripps Networks -- ION Television, and five multicast networks such as Bounce, Laff, Escape, and Grit -- capture 26% of prime time, over-the-air, broadcast-only network viewing. Other competing multicast networks have a combined 19% share.

“We talk about reaching an unique audience that cable networks can't,” says Michael Teicher, chief revenue officer of national networks for E.W. Scripps.



"We have a unique place in the industry that is important to advertisers -- our ability to build unique reach.”

Teicher says Scripps Networks are in the “middle” -- between cable TV viewers and those that watch subscription streaming services. This includes a significant level of cord-cutters.

'The company says it averages around two million prime-time viewers a night from its collective nine channels. At the same time, these digital TV networks are also gaining coverage as streaming connected TV networks.

This comes as the TV station industry also needs to promote its new ATSC 3.0 new TV standard. That comes with consumers needing to buy an extra set-top box equipment or a new ATSC capable smart TV set.

All this can be confusing. Consumers must be thinking their entertainment choices are growing but getting more complicated.

Scripps believe some movement is on their side. If you take out sports and news TV content, Teicher says they are growing, versus competitors declines. So something is working.

But talking to other analysts about new TV alternatives -- especially streaming -- seems to be slowing down.

Are these new digital entertainment networks and content services good for real, long-term growth -- or will further transitioning and/or consolidating mean near-term adjustments? The TV jury is still out.

In the meantime, more entertainment advertising is coming.

So.... watch that ad-supported space, or plenty others.

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