Spotlight On Local TV News: Viewers Shifting To Streaming From Pay TV?

TV stations' local newscasts are still key for drawing in local market TV viewers -- and with that, local TV station advertisers.

But what if we did not need TV stations as much in the future? Would viewers gravitate more toward streaming and digital outlets?

Couple this with cord-cutting and perhaps one day, traditional or virtual pay TV providers might not have the wherewithal to continue to pay TV stations high retransmission/distribution fees.

VUit (pronounced “view it”), which started up in 2020, believes this is a business of major growth. It is a free, ad-supported, local TV web-based streaming service offering local TV content -- primarily news content but also weather, and sports -- all with in-market, localized advertising.



It comes from Syncbak, a media-technology company focused on streaming used by broadcast stations with the backing of investors like Gray Television, a major TV station owner.

VUit has a station list of 260 TV stations -- with the recent addition of the CBS Television Stations group. Deals with TV stations put content on its platform through an advertising-revenue share basis.

Nearly all TV stations also have some sort of digital and/or streaming presence on the web -- directly from their owned sites.

All this continues to run nicely alongside cable, satellite, telco and video TV distributors airing live, linear TV networks that continue to pay TV stations billions of dollars in retransmission fees --  a sizeable revenue piece that can make up 50% to 65% or more of a TV station's overall revenue take.

It’s not just TV newscasts, of course, for pay TV providers. They run an entire TV stations’ live, linear schedules -- for example, prime time programming, the NFL, and daytime syndicated shows, as well as full local, linear TV newscasts.

VUit says it has seen major revenue growth for its business.

With news content a major piece of a TV station's advertising revenue -- as well as a major reason for retransmission fees -- what will become of local TV news distribution, say, ten years from now -- when pay TV distribution may become weaker?

A new TV business disruption could plant deeper roots.

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