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“Self-bundler” is a TV neologism, one coined by The E.W. Scripps Co. in hopes it will catch on as the company repeats the phrase like a mantra in its upfronts.
The term refers to viewers who are cutting the cord, subscribing to a few streaming services and “bundling” those with over-the-air consumption of classic and comfort TV of the sort Scripps offers across its nine diginets, the two newest of which are slated to debut this summer.
Lisa Knutson, Scripps’ new president of national networks, is leading the hunt for this self-bundling quarry. She says Scripps, long one of the more aggressive station groups in digital and streaming, has been spurred on in its amped-up OTA strategy by a growing number of households with digital antennas, a number it expects to grow by another 30% by 2025.
In an interview with TVNewsCheck Editor Michael Depp, Knutson says that the OTA audience is skewing younger, and given its heavy SVOD consumption elsewhere, multicasts represent one of the few places television advertisers can reach them. She says streaming iterations of all of Scripps’ diginets are in the pipeline, though their programming may not be a mirror image of the OTA iterations. And she notes the company is only cautiously considering original programming opportunities for its national networks outside of Newsy and Court TV given the potential of quickly escalating costs.
An edited transcript.
Conventional wisdom now seems to be leaning toward linear TV being out and on-demand being in, especially since the