NAB Finds Local TV News Hours Surge 40% Over A Decade, Warns About Impact Of Digital Media

Local stations continue to see a rise in TV news programming hours -- up 40% over a ten year period -- according to an analysis of Nielsen data released by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

Over the same ten year period ending November 2021, the number of local TV newscasts rose 35%, according to the NAB's analysis.

The NAB said the number of Spanish-language newscasts doubled over the same period.

The growth benefits stations, because news programming generally yields higher ad revenue for stations than network affiliate programs and/or domestic U.S. syndicated programming.

However, the NAB also warned about consumers increasingly accessing local TV news content via digital media platforms.

“Local broadcasters are losing an estimated $2 billion annually when their content is accessed through Google and Facebook,” the NAB said, adding, "Local news is costly to produce, and not only do these tech giants pose major threats to advertising revenue, but they are gatekeepers of online content, exerting power over what internet users access and how advertisers reach them.”

Much of this, the association said, also has hurts local print media, citing the fact that more than 360 newspapers have gone out of business since the start of the pandemic.

Over a more recent five year period ending November 2021, local TV news programming hours rose 16%.



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