The Drivers of Today’s Most Effective Medium: Local Broadcast Television

2017 NAB Show Editorial Submission
By Steve Lanzano

In this era of expansive media fragmentation, rapid technology development and intense demand for new forms of entertainment and best-in-class news, this year’s NAB Show theme – MET (media, entertainment, technology) – sets the tone for essential conversations affecting broadcast TV today.

Many of the technologists at the 2017 NAB Show will bring innovation in engineering, production, automation and ad-ops to TV stations. These innovations enable advancements in on-air, online and mobile content that power broadcasters’ key roles as providers of news and entertainment programming across every screen. And those advancements both enable our enormous viewership and drive ad revenue – a key element of TVB’s mission and work. At TVB everything we do is through the lens of ad sales; we focus on national and local revenue generation for our local broadcast TV station members.

Revenue generation relies on constant innovation – and marketing the innovations that contribute to television’s success. At TVB we promote television’s powerful assets and its ability to reach and affect vital audiences to local and national advertisers. We make the case for local broadcast television with the data and insights marketers need to sell their products.

The case for local TV is strong and we believe it is valuable for media technologists to stay current on these facts as they work with broadcasters to improve process, production and efficiency.  Here’s a look at some of the MET facts TVB proudly brings to the advertising community – they might just inform your next innovation:

Media: Reach, Influence, Time Spent and Action Taken

Since TV’s inception, its mass appeal and accessibility quickly transformed it into a touchstone of American culture. One of TV’s biggest strengths continues to be its ability to reach a vast audience, and no other medium comes close – according to a GfK study, television reaches 76 percent of adults 18+ daily, more people each day than other traditional or digital media platforms.

Source: GfK TVB Mentor Survey Spring 2016. M-S 6A-12M. Persons 18+. Online/internet platforms such as e-mail, social media, internet radio and websites, are totaled for any online device-PC, Smartphone and Tablets. Broadcast TV News Websites includes local TV station websites & network websites for news/weather/sports.

Beyond its ability to reach the largest audience, TV is also a top influencer of consumer behavior. GfK also found that consumers credit TV ads as the most influential medium in making a purchase decision (37%), almost three times higher than the next closest advertising medium, newspapers (14%), and five times higher than email (7%).

Source: GfK TVB Mentor Survey Winter 2016. M-S 6A-12M. Persons 18+. Includes only those who chose a media. Q1 – Please select the one type of advertising medium which, you feel, most influences you to make a purchase decision? Broadcast TV News Websites includes local TV station websites & network websites for news/weather/sports.

Despite all the hype that digital advertising will overtake TV, the fact remains that viewers spend more time with TV than all other media. Adults 18+ spend nearly five hours daily with television, and are consuming nearly four times as much television each week as compared to the second and third most used mediums, smartphone apps/web and radio.

Source: GfK TVB Mentor Survey Spring 2016. M-S 6A-12M. Persons 18+. Online/internet platforms such as e-mail, social media, internet radio and websites, are totaled for any online device-PC, Smartphone and Tablets. Broadcast TV News Websites includes local TV station websites & network websites for news/weather/sports

Just as TV drives consumers to make purchase decisions, when it comes to political advertising, TV drives political discussions and propels voters to learn more – and act. A recent Morning Consult  Voter Funnel study found that 71 percent of respondents rated TV as the most important medium for issue awareness (step one in the voter funnel) and this trend continued as voters went through the next four steps in the decision making process. Even at the tail end of the decision process, 58% cited TV as most important in getting them to pull the lever, almost 12x the respondents citing social media.

Entertainment & News: Trust, Viewership and Social Media Actions

 Local broadcast TV is more than just an effective way to get advertisers’ messages to consumers and voters – it’s also the most credible. With the recent surge of fake news sources, it’s more important than ever to have viewers’ trust – and TV has it: Local broadcast TV news is the most trusted source for news (79%), higher than public television (75%), network broadcast TV news (71%) and cable news (65%). Social media is the least trusted source for news (31%).

Source: GfK TVB Mentor Survey Winter 2016 Persons 18+. Agree Strongly or Agree Somewhat Q9 – For each source, please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statement: I trust the News that I see/hear on this media source. Broadcast TV News Websites include local TV station websites & network websites for news/weather/sports.

Viewers trust their local news outlets and depend on them for informed, smart reporting within their communities. They can also depend on broadcast TV for some of the most widely watched live events.

  • 72% of U.S. homes with televisions in use were tuned into Super Bowl 50, according to Nielsen.
  • Nielsen also found that broadcast TV delivered 94 of the top 100 programs with adults 18+ in the 2015-16 broadcast season. Nielsen Broadcast Season, 9/21/15-5/25/16

Advertisers are learning that TV and social media don’t have to be at odds, in fact, they can complement each other.

  • According to #TVisSocial, a study from the Video Advertising Bureau, during primetime as much as 87% of the trending topics on Twitter were driven by TV.
  • Recently in The Drum, Jason Wiese, Vice President of Strategic Insights at the Video Advertising Bureau said, “Primetime TV dominates the social conversation, and nothing else comes anywhere near the volume or impact. Impressively, much of this real-time activity is being driven by millennials, whose love of TV content fuels continual conversations every night of every week.”

Technology: Digital, ATSC 3.0, Automated TV

Local media is adaptive to advances in technology. According to Perry Sook, Founder, President/CEO, Nexstar Media Group and Chairman, TVB, “We have digital and mobile platforms that complement [or in some cases serve as substitutes to] our traditional broadcast offerings because we know marketers need to make their different advertising channels work together to effectively reach their customers to sell their products and services.”

  • Broadcast TV sites and apps are the top digital source for news, according to GfK’s Media Comparisons study. 66 percent of survey responders said they trusted the news seen or heard on broadcast TV sites and apps.
  • ATSC 3.0, the IP-based next generation broadcast standard will allow broadcast TV to bring new innovations, data and services to advertisers.
  • Automated (programmatic) television ad buying platforms will create a highly efficient marketplace with more precise targeting capabilities to generate clear and measurable results for advertisers.


The NAB theme, “Media, Entertainment and Technology” represents the complex and interrelated work done by numerous industry sectors of our business. Their combined success is rooted in their deep understanding of the value of local broadcast television and their commitment to our industry. At TVB we are honored to work with the companies that provide the technical backbone that powers the growth and future of our local broadcast TV stations and we applaud the essential efforts of NAB.  Our joint efforts prove our value proposition as the best medium for viewers, consumers, voters and marketers every day.

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