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Biggest Threats to Broadcast Television: Episode 2

Apr 21, 2016

In episode 1 of our latest blog series – which explores the biggest threats to broadcast TV – we looked at how Facebook is positioning themselves to steal “traditional” television audiences.

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In episode 1 of our latest blog series – which explores the biggest threats to broadcast TV – we looked at how Facebook is positioning themselves to steal “traditional” television audiences.  We talked about the Facebook Live platform, Facebook’s partnership with E! Entertainment and the rumors that Facebook is eyeing the streaming rights for Thursday Night Football (which has since been gobbled up by Twitter, coincidentally).

But, as you may have guessed, they’re not the only company contributing to the decline in television viewership.  Which brings us to Episode 2…

Let’s talk Netflix.

Netflix is not new to killing off industries. Remember Blockbuster?  While it’s inevitable that Blockbuster would have eventually met their maker, Netflix certainly sped the process along.  Now, several years later, they’re positioning themselves to steal a serious chunk of viewers from ‘traditional’ broadcasters.  From 2014 to 2015, broadcasters saw a 3% decline in television viewing time.  Half of that 3% (or 1.5% for you math majors) is attributed to Netflix.  And that’s just over a 1-year period.  It’s estimated that Netflix will take away 14% of television viewers by 2020.

As a consumer, what makes Netflix so attractive is the amount of content available at such a reasonable price tag.  I pay $17/month for my Netflix subscription, and that includes their mail-order DVD service. I think I might be the last person on earth that still uses this.  You’d be hard pressed to find a cable subscription that offers the same amount of content for the same price.  Netflix offers movies and full seasons of popular television shows on demand, in addition to their own original series, like “House of Cards”, “Orange is the New Black” and “Jessica Jones”.  And their original content is good.  Netflix has received 79 Emmy nominations since 2013 and a recent study put Netflix in front of HBO for the best original programming (for the first time ever).  They’re competing against major broadcasters and premium subscriptions and, in some cases, they’re winning.

Netflix has claimed that they have no interest in producing live programming, but I think that’ll change as their competitors continue to offer live content.  There is a huge consumer demand for live content and it seems to be a perfect sales offering for attracting new customers.

So who else is contributing to the demise of broadcast television?  Tune into Episode 3 of our series to find out.

No Comments
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!