This post was originally published on this site
If you follow The Gauge, Nielsen’s media tracking report, you know that last month streaming captured 31.9% of total viewers, compared to 24.4% for broadcast.
Seasonal viewing comes into play, but one cannot escape the fact that streaming continues to grow at the expense of both broadcast and cable. With network owners pouring money into their streaming products, the problem will continue to grow. For local television to thrive in the future, it must find new ways to expand audiences.
Expansion is a hard thing to do right now because another reality is that the FCC continues to stand in the way of modern business models that would revitalize local television, adding new products and generating new audiences.
Right now, most television markets have at least four stations producing what is essentially the same local news product, all competing for the same audience. Some stations do a great job, some do a poor one, but the very presence of so much similar product, filling so many hours of the day on so many different stations, cannot help being a factor in the decline in television viewership.
The logical answer to this problem is to narrow the number of stations producing local news.
A good friend and fine broadcaster who is committed to excellence in local news told me just last week that he hates the idea of losing any news voice. I understand his point, but the economic and coverage