Sunday, May 28, 2023

Broadcast TV viewership drops

There are reports out that viewership of the traditional TV networks -- ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC -- has continued to drop year over year. In fact, according to the study, CBS has lost nearly half its viewers in ten years.

The conclusion that Cord Cutters News reached is that cord cutting is the reason. The headline is "ABC, CBS, FOX, & NBC Primetime Viewership is Falling Fast as Cord Cutting Speeds Up" which I think is a little off the mark.

The article cites the increase in cord cutting over the last decade, along with lower broadcast network viewership as the result. Only, what about antennae? Isn't putting up an antenna (or using an existing antenna) often a part of cord cutting? You drop cable, put up an antenna (indoor if close enough), and you still get the broadcast networks. I mean, they broadcast their signal over the air, right?

I don't see cord cutting itself as a reason for drop in viewership. I look at it more as a drop in cable. With cable, it's easier for viewership stats to be collected. However, with an antenna, they have to rely more on traditional methods such as the Nelsen dairies to gather the data.

I think the numbers may be down for multiple reasons, and a lot of it is due to content of streaming services.

More or better content via streaming leads to cord cutting. It also leads to drop in broadcast viewership. Cord cutting is not the cause of people watching less broadcast TV, it's the result of it.

My Streaming Life hasn't really seen a drop in broadcast TV viewership. I used to record shows and not watch them live. Now, with Hulu, I'm watching shows on demand, after they air, just as when they were recorded with TiVo. If I'm watching less content from broadcast TV, it's because other sources have more content I want to watch. Broadcast TV is available to cord cutters. They just need to make better content.

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