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 801 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 83 workers and generates about $89 million annually.

    • The television broadcasting industry consists of about 801 firms that employ about 66,500 workers and generate $72 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

                                Mar 19, 2024 - Prices Decrease
                                • TV broadcasters modestly decreased their prices during 2023, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Television broadcasters generate revenue primarily through advertising sales, which include on-air and digital media. Industry employment increased slightly during 2023 while average wages for nonsupervisory employees decreased slightly, according to the BLS.
                                • Advertising aired against broadcast, cable, and on-demand television content has the highest impact on potential shoppers compared to any other medium, according to a study commissioned by the Television Bureau of Advertising. The study compared the effectiveness of advertising and its influence across media including broadcast and cable TV; radio; postal mail; billboards and other out-of-home platforms; newspapers and other print media; and digital platforms like e-mail ads, streaming services, websites, and apps associated with radio and TV stations. Local broadcast TV earned the highest score for trust among users surveyed while the websites associated with broadcast TV “are the most trusted among digital platforms.” Social media platforms like Facebook, X (Twitter) and Instagram were viewed as the least trustworthy.
                                • Free ad-supported television (FAST) is increasingly popular among viewers, according to market measurement firm Nielsen. Unlike video on-demand offerings, FAST channels often present content in grids, similar to traditional, ad-supported cable and satellite services, but content is available live and on a schedule. Many complement their scheduled programming with on-demand content. The three FAST services that are independently reported in Nielsen's The Gauge (Roku Channel, PlutoTV, Tubi) already account for more viewing per month than all but the two top cable networks. These three services captured 3.3% of total US TV viewing In June.
                                • Broadcasters are deploying ATSC 3.0, a broadcast format that supports 4K, HDR, Dolby Atmos audio, and interactive apps over the air, but the transition to ATSC 3.0 has been slow. Five years after its launch, the format, commonly called NextGen TV, is still not available in many major markets. Support from TV makers has been limited, and some of the promised features likely won’t be available for years, according to The Verge. Meanwhile, free streaming TV channels are growing quickly and are becoming a viable alternative to both cable and antenna TV. Experts say that, with most TVs not supporting ATSC 3.0 out of the box, external hardware could be key to the adoption of the format.
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