Future of TV - Broadcast, Cable, Streaming, etc?

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Future of TV - Broadcast, Cable, Streaming, etc?

Postby Xenon » January 6th, 2018, 7:47 pm

The latest batch of broadcast TV's currency data has been crunched, and while a handful of shows are doing their bit in the war against audience erosion, the Big Four networks's share of sellable ratings points continues to shrink at an alarming clip.

According to Nielsen, C3 ratings last month dropped 16 percent versus the year-ago period, as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox combined for an average primetime draw of just 2.07 million adults age 18-49, down from the 2.47 million members of the demo that watched the ads in November 2016. And while the nets faced some tough year-to-year comps -- Fox was coming off a record-setting World Series, and results were somewhat overshadowed by last November's election -- this also marked the seventh month in which C3 ratings fell by double-digit percentages. ... art-2017-6

The traditional TV industry could be in for a historically brutal quarter.

Pay TV providers could lose more than a million subscribers in the current period, a team of analysts at UBS led by John C. Hodulik wrote in a research note distributed Tuesday.

"That would be the worst result on record and equate to a 2.5% annual decline," compared to 2.1% last quarter, the analysts wrote.

And things for the industry could only get worse, the analysts wrote.

"We estimate this will put the industry on pace for a 3.3% decline in 2017 and 4.0% in 2018," they said in their note.


It seems to me that the "old" model of linear TV with Commercial Breaks that viewers HAVE to watch is dying. DVR, streaming, PVR, Netflix, HULU, etc etc etc all are killing that model.....

BUT, WHAT does the future look like?

Decades ago, everything was Commercials ... on three networks....

Then you had HBO and the idea of subscription for no ads.....

Then you had cable networks, with subscription AND ads ....

But then came the DVR, and people could skip ads ...

And then came streaming, and people could skip the subscription....


I don't think services that FORCE the viewer to watch ads are going to be the future. We have watched some shows on things like the CW site, which force ads and won't let you fast forward.... We hated it... HULU tried with forced ads and now has the NO ADs version. Netflix has lots of tv shows with no commercials.

Amazon has "Amazon Channels", and now you can buy a "season pass" to series that you want, no ads,


SOOO what do you think the future of TV is going to look like?

Some estimates have said that for ESPN to survive as subscription service (i.e. not with cable bundles) it would $36 a month. That seems like ALOT but probably some would pay that....

Amazon Video lets you buy individual episodes for usually around $1.99, or a whole season for something in the $20s (24.99, 29.99, etc)

Netflix has a monthly charge around $10, and Hulu without ads is also around $10.

What model do you think will eventually be the dominant model in the US for TV? What happens to somewhat niche channels like History or Discovery or Lifetime or BET? Do they eventually go straight subscription, and if so, at $10 a month, or more or less?

OR, does cable make a rebound, with the skinny bundle or perhaps true ala carte by channel?

What happens to broadcast channels? Will local channels start streaming network shows? With the big four Networks go to a subscription model?

CAN ads alone support a network? Will enough people sit through the ads to make the advertisers be willing to pay enough to keep the Network afloat?

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Re: Future of TV - Broadcast, Cable, Streaming, etc?

Postby RemiFTW » January 24th, 2018, 6:29 am

While legacy networks might be declining, brand new companies and stations will establish a business model appropriate for their target audience that is multiplatform at its core. Quality, unique content are table stakes. No matter how easy you make the distribution of content, if that content fails to engage the audience, your efforts will be for naught...
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Re: Future of TV - Broadcast, Cable, Streaming, etc?

Postby Auman » May 7th, 2018, 6:38 am

I think streaming content is what will survive the longest out of those 3. But broadcasting and cable are going to be around for a long time too. It seems like there's place for all 3 at the moment. Sure, the big networks are on the decline, but they're not dead yet.

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