Death Of ATSC 3.0? What's A Local TV Station To Do Now?

U.S. TV stations' future ATSC hopes could be in the trash, according to analysts. Does that mean TV stations' higher digital-media aspirations are done?

The news comes as TV set makers are not increasingly not putting the technology -- which promises a wide-array of digital media opportunities for consumers and marketers -- in their new TV sets. LG, for example, is dropping its support to include ATSC 3.0 into future TVs. 

Early this year, a Vizio spokesperson -- at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas -- said its current TV-set models do not include ATSC 3.0 tuners. Word has it Samsung and Sony may be next.



I get it. I mean, what's the incentive to add this costly technology to a OEM's full line of TV sets, especially when not all TV stations are adopting ATSC -- or at best, the slow rollout of the technology on TV stations continues?

But let's go beyond this for a bit. 

With consumers getting dazzled by all the other digital media innovations -- easily accessible ones such as national streaming platforms, ever-growing digital apps, and better and deeper media connection to e-commerce stuff (Hello Amazon) -- what’s the advantage here?

For TV stations, there is only one real lynchpin: local TV news and programming. But is that enough pull for consumers to watch and then interact with interactive advertising and e-commerce, and/or other content innovations? The jury is still out.

Right now if your local CBS TV affiliate news and other content is already on Paramount+, and if the same is true for a NBC TV station on Peacock, and an ABC TV station on Disney+/Hulu, what's the real, tangible upside for consumers?

TV station executives need to figure out a new path in the digital TV world -- not just a similar digital platform that consumers really don't need. While watching local TV news, they typically have that technology already have in their hands.  And I don't mean the remote.

The promise of ATSC 3.0 was that consumers could now use their TV sets kind of like any digital device -- laptop, mobile phone, or tablet. 

We can now get local TV content via our phones and on other devices. But those devices already give us many more options outside any future local TV-station centered ecosystem -- one that already includes access to that TV content.

At best, ATSC 3.0 might provide some viewers with limited availability to do other media related stuff.

But if TV stations think it is a remedy to bring back traditional TV consumers who have moved on to the open internet via platforms, devices, and apps, they need to have a new plan.

3 comments about "Death Of ATSC 3.0? What's A Local TV Station To Do Now?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 3, 2023 at 4:33 p.m.

    Wayne, most TV stations have lots of commercial time to sell other than in their local news content or whatever sports they offer. All network affils  get to sell time in the  station breaks every half hour when they carry network shows or in the case of many nationally- aired network and syndicated non-prime time shows, in those portions  where the in-show breaks are available for spot sales. This gives them at least a fighting chance to offer advertisers some form of targeting flexibility in contrast to local news which, invariably, reaches a very old audience and has premium priced CPMs to boot. If all they had to offer was local news---which is, of course, very important to them with banks, car dealers, utilities, and pharma advertisers---to name a few---- they might find themselves in a targeting bind with advertisers who are less into the program environment aspect and more into pure targeting and cost efficiency.

  2. Michael Bell from Epsilon replied, October 4, 2023 at 5:06 p.m.

    It theoretically benefits all advertisers (national and local) b/c it offers an additional source of supply for addressable or targeted TV inventory into the marketplace.  Interesting to see how it shakes out.

  3. Gary milner from The Simpler Way, October 4, 2023 at 6:22 p.m.

    Simple economics. Tv sets are cheap, not worth the cost. Tv manufacturers want to monetize their online portal.

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