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 830 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 80 workers and generates about $87 million annually.

    • The television broadcasting industry consists of about 830 firms that employ about 67,500 workers and generate $74 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

                                Jul 7, 2024 - Prices Decrease
                                • TV broadcasters slightly decreased their prices during the first quarter of 2024, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Television broadcasters generate revenue primarily through advertising sales, which include on-air and digital media. TV broadcasting industry employment increased slightly during the first quarter of 2024 while average wages for nonsupervisory employees decreased slightly, according to the BLS.
                                • Two thirds of respondents to a Kantar survey showed a high level of consumer interest in 5G Broadcast TV. Respondents said that they expect the new broadcast technology for mobile devices to be a good alternative to streaming via the internet. The most relevant features are the access without a mobile network or Wi-Fi, stable transmission without overloading the network, no need for additional equipment, and use without consuming data volume. 5G Broadcast does not affect the data allowances of mobile customers. About 68% of the interested users stated that they would like to consume live television content, i.e. linear TV, more frequently on the go via this new reception infrastructure, and 28% would do so significantly more often.
                                • Several local broadcast groups are leading a venture to accelerate the commercial launch of the ATSC 3.0 Framework Authority (A3FA), the driving force behind the RUN3TV platform, according to Comscore. RUN3TV allows broadcasters to integrate essential and advanced features like 'Start Over', viewer content discovery, and advanced emergency alerts across various platforms, while also allowing for the customization of unique services and content. It also enhances broadcasters' ability to gather detailed viewership data, offering insights that help tailor content directly to viewer preferences.
                                • 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.
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