TV Broadcasting

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 850 television broadcasters in the US operate studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of TV programs to the public. Firms may also produce or transmit programming to affiliated television stations, which broadcast programs to the public. They generate revenue primarily through advertising sales, which include on-air and digital media.

Cyclical and Seasonal Sales

Advertising sales, which are the main source of revenue for television broadcasters, are seasonal and cyclical and driven by political campaigns and major events, such as the Super Bowl.

Competition from Alternative Media

Television broadcasters compete for advertising revenue with a variety of alternative media, including newspapers, magazines, outdoor ads, direct mail, multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD), over-the-top video distributors (OTTD), and online media (Google, Facebook).

Industry size & Structure

The average television broadcaster employs about 147 workers and generates about $74 million annually.

    • The television broadcasting industry consists of about 850 firms that employ about 126,200 workers and generate $63 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly concentrated; the top 20 companies account for about 86% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms include Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nexstar (Tribune Media Group). The major television broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW) also own and operate local television stations, primarily in major media markets. Major media companies, such as Gannett and Hearst, also own stations that operate as network affiliates.
    • About 1,760 television broadcast stations exist in the US, including almost 400 educational stations, according to the FCC.
                                Industry Forecast
                                TV Broadcasting Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Nov 14, 2022 - Strong Holiday Ad Spending Expected
                                • Linear TV -- the traditional television form with content delivered via broadcast antenna, satellite, or cable -- is still top-of-mind for most marketers this holiday season, according to marketing agency Belardi Wong. Internet-connected TV is also making a strong showing. Several direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are shifting media dollars out of digital channels such as Meta, including both Facebook and Instagram, and into newer channels such as Internet-connected TV and TikTok. “Overall as an industry, there’s a shift away from just relying on Meta and Google and having a broader mix,” said Belardi Wong president Polly Wong. “There’s now a huge drive for DTC brands to diversify their marketing mix into traditional marketing like print and TV.”
                                • TV and broadcast viewing saw an October uptick while streaming volume grew slower than in past months, according to The Gauge Report from Nielsen. Time spent watching television increased 2.2% month over month in October, marking the second consecutive month that TV usage increased. Broadcast viewing increased 10% compared to September. Streaming increased 3.3% month over month. Streaming accounted for 37.3% of TV viewing in October, cable’s share dropped to 32.9%, broadcast TV captured 26%, and other categories captured 3.8%.
                                • Magna, a unit of Interpublic Group of Companies' Mediabrands, cut in September its forecast for nonpolitical ad spending for the second half of this year and its total advertising spending growth forecast for 2023. Company analysts say that a weaker economic environment is likely to cut into consumer spending. Items like food, drinks, personal care, and household goods ‘are especially at risk as firms are forced to increase product prices and face the possibility of consumers trading down in favor of cheaper brands.’ Advertising expenditures will decrease as a result. Ad spending growth for all of 2022 will come in at 9.8%, Magna said, less than the 11.1% forecast in June. The growth forecast for 2023 was cut to 4.8% from the June prediction of 5.8% growth.
                                • A new broadcasting standard called Next Generation TV offers higher quality 4K video and clearer Dolby audio. It can also deliver television to phones, tablets, or cars that are equipped with a device that can receive these signals. About half of US households now have Next Generation TV signals being broadcast to them, and that’s supposed to increase to three-quarters of households by summer’s end, according to the Advanced Television Systems Committee. The current generation of antennas can accept the signal, but a newer, NextGen-compatible TV is required. Manufacturers started adding NextGen-compatible tuners to some popular models in 2020.
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