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The Critical Value of Broadcast TV in a Cross-Screen World

The TV ecosystem has grown increasingly complex in recent years as a result of audience fragmentation, ratings decline, supply inflation, and measurement difficulties. Contrary to some opinions, broadcast TV is alive and well, and despite a shift in viewership, the reality of how people watch TV today may surprise you. 

A report recently published by TiVo found that a “significant gap still exists between planning to cut the cord and actually doing it” – or put another way, I’m sure you’ve heard people complain about the increased cost of their TV provider’s packages, but they still love the programming, and so the benefits outweigh the costs! Still, audience fragmentation, delivery fragmentation, and measurement fragmentation remain a challenge, so, what is a marketer to do? 

Savvy advertisers continue to keep Broadcast TV in the cross-screen mix. This highly relevant and proven marketing channel offers advertisers unparalleled reach and so much more. To tackle the problems marketers are facing in the evolving TV marketplace, here are a few reasons why broadcast TV should be a part of every media plan. 

The Value of Local 

Advertisers need solutions that solve for targeting and reach. So, how can you achieve local relevance on a national scale while network pricing hits an all-time high? Cadent’s broadcast offering provides advertisers with access to loyal local audiences in core genres like news, syndication, and sports at efficient rates – a critical component for the cross-screen mix.  

A survey from Pew Research states that 75% of U.S. adults have at least some trust in the information coming from local news organizations compared to 58% from national. In fact, across the U.S., broadcast news programming delivers vital audience reach, as nearly half of adults prefer to get their news on TV rather than through the internet, radio, or print publications.  
Similarly, the TiVo report determined that 84% of respondents said viewing local content is important to them. But local news is far from the only local content out there. Local sports command a passionate audience of hometown fans. When it comes to local TV, consumer sentiment speaks for itself – just as viewers recognize the importance of local content, advertisers must work with partners that can deliver the true value of local content. 

There’s Something About Syndication 

Broadcast networks continue to face stiff competition from streaming platforms. However, syndicated content is giving streamers a run for their money. Ratings show that Jeopardy is the most-watched non-sports program on TV, averaging 9.2 million viewers per night, with Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud, tied for second, drawing 8.4 million viewers per night.  

To put these ratings in perspective, compare Jeopardy with the NFL draft or NBA playoffs which drew only half that number of viewers. And it’s worth noting that the average age of Jeopardy viewers has been trending down over the past decade – before 2010, the average viewer was 70, and by 2019, it had gone down to 65. As of 2022, “among those who watch on a regular basis, nearly 4 in 10 are under the age of 35. Only one-quarter are 65 or older.”  

Other syndicated programs, like Live with Kelly and Ryan, Rachael Ray Show, and Dr. Phil have held their ground with daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54.  

Building Your Cross-Screen Mix 

Unified, cross-screen TV campaigns are designed to deliver your ad to audiences, no matter what screens, devices, formats, and services they are viewing. 

If you are already investing in cable, broadcast is the perfect complement. By incorporating local news into plans focused on national news, advertisers can extend their reach to a larger segment of their target audience. Cadent offers an unparalleled depth of partnerships and coverage across top-ranked stations in all major markets. 

If you are activating on OTT/CTV, broadcast can extend and amplify your reach to a much wider audience. Fluidity allows you to blend the benefits of both channels while combatting the issues of finite inventory and increasing demand. 

Ultimately, broadcast remains the fastest way to build efficient reach. Current viewership trends show that more than 60% of consumers’ total TV viewing time was spent watching linear programming, and forecasts predict future decline will be very gradual. In short – broadcast isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! 

Learn more about how you can incorporate broadcast into your next media plan on Cadent’s Planning & Optimizing page.

Maximize Your TV Reach with Strategic Broadcast Buys

As a result of our new normal, it’s apparent that Americans are returning to their long-trusted news source – local news. In doing so, broadcast TV is experiencing a striking resurgence in popularity.  Sixty-four percent of consumers who watch the news while working tune into local news, according to Nielsen’s August 2020 Total Audience Report. The reasons why they tune into local include getting information on local events, weather, and more, as well as getting relevant stories and trustworthy content. In other words, local TV is as relevant as ever. For people working at home, local news is what’s on the TV – people want to know what’s going on with their communities.  

Even as we look beyond the current moment, broadcast continues to offer a variety of benefitsThrough Cadent’s technology, developed and refined with today’s buyers in mind, marketers gain access to a streamlined solution for broadcast TV. And when broadcast is combined with the power of cable television, which offers incredible access to national scale, marketers can extend their reach even further with a complementary buy. 

To help you get reacquainted with this proven advertising medium, let’s explore what makes broadcast a strategic choice for your upcoming TV campaigns, and later get into why broadcast and cable together make a powerful combination.  

The Benefits of Context and Geo-Targeting with Broadcast  

Contextual relevance is the key to success when activating your campaign on broadcast TV. When a brand is seen on local news stations, the ad placement benefits from the reach of loyal TV viewership for those programs, as well as the halo effect created by the trust viewers have for those stations.  

For example, imagine you are a major automotive company and you want to execute a holistic campaign in specific DMAs where your dealerships are located nationwide. With broadcast TV, you’re able to boost awareness and brand trust by engaging with auto shoppers with strategically placed commercials during the nightly news and other local programmingCadent has access to 1100 broadcast stations so you can reach the right audience at scale. 

Broadcast is not only an effective medium of advertising, but a cost-efficient opportunity as well. Access to local markets also means you can isolate spend based on geographic areas, limiting your activation to the local broadcast stations where you can best reach your target audience. And you can access programming that you wouldn’t be able to afford, including special events like big games or awards nights.  

Consider the implications of COVID-19. If you’re a national QSR brand with the option to dine-in only available at locations in the South and Midwest, you can select broadcast networks with stations in those regions for your “We’re Open!” campaign. You’re able to air different creatives in different markets and areas of the country, reducing waste of your brand’s advertising dollars.  

Broadcast & Cable Together Are A Happy TV Marriage

Cadent accesses inventory across 90+ cable networks, leveraging its unique combination of audience and historical data to capitalize on placements that will get your message to the right households. But cable only reaches so many households. In order to expand your reach further, you need to activate on broadcast to reach essentially every US householdIf you’re already activating on cable, why not extend your buy to broadcast?   

Through Cadent’s white glove serviceyou can seamlessly plan across cable and broadcast, reaping the benefits of both channels. In fact, Cadent research shows that adding broadcast news to your cable news campaign significantly increases the reach of a cable news-only schedule (based on Nielsen ratings).   

For instance, if you’re trying to reach the full spectrum of sports fans, you can advertise on ESPN’s cable channels and ABC’s broadcast network football games. Reaching audiences across cable and broadcast can result in a lift in awareness, consideration, purchase intent and sales – without repeating views.  

Broadcast TV drives real results. Ultimately, brands want to reach their target audience wherever they are, no matter the channel. With consistently high ratings and a powerful halo effect, broadcast TV offers what few marketing channels are able to provide 

You can strategically activate media on broadcast TV while simultaneously being able to plan for cable TV too. It is the combined power of Cadent across both broadcast and cable that offers unparalleled reach and efficiency.  

Ready to learn more about Cadent’s robust Broadcast solution? Contact us today to speak with a Cadent representative.