Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!

Why Broadcast News Dragged its Feet on Streaming

Why were news broadcasters so slow to adapt to streaming, leaving it to play catch-up in recent years? Rob Dillon, Head of Digital Product, Straight Arrow News, discusses this question with Ben Ratner, Director of News Technology, Boston 25 News, Eric Bergner, Partner, Manatt Digital and Technology Transactions, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Corey Smith, Senior Director, Advanced Production Technology, CBS Sports Digital, Paramount, in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media Connect 2023.

Dillon begins by asking the group, “Why was there such a hesitancy from broadcasters to even embrace what the future was? We saw it with newspapers; they disappeared pretty quickly. Radio was even quicker. We all know [TV] broadcasting and video is difficult, and there was a long time for broadcasters to get it right, but instead, they sat back. Why do you think that was?”

Ratner says, “I think they had a proven business model that they wanted to keep [going], and then they didn't want to cannibalize audiences. Everyone watched TV. Everyone used to watch The Tonight Show every night, and I think to an extent they were right, because you have shows maybe breaking a million viewers now, and that used to be 25 million. So they probably had a valid fear that it was going to segment people and get [them] away from their core product.”

Dillon asks Bergner about his thoughts on the matter.

Bergner says that the broadcasting’s entire approach to transitioning into streaming was too short-sighted. “New media like FAST is not necessarily a substitute for an existing media,” he notes. “It can be additive to it depending on how you treat it. So for example, if I'm a content owner, I can use the ad inventory on my FAST channel to promote my over-the-air offerings or my other SVOD or OTT offerings. And the content can be different. It can be older content; it can be for more of a fanatic because a channel is going to be more targeted to a more rabid audience. And so I think…it's kind of unfortunate that it unfolded that way…because it really could have been complimentary, and the content owners could have gotten ahead of it more quickly.”

Smith argues that despite the hesitancy of traditional broadcasters and advertisers to transition into streaming, the shift is inevitable, and the technology has already been in place for a long time to facilitate it. “A lot of the advertisers aren't really comfortable in streaming because over the years, that's not where the audience has been,” he says. “It's been on the traditional linear platforms. But as things have been transitioning…the new thinking is the digital linear networks of the future are where linear is going from today. So you're seeing a lot of shift, I think in the market where streaming is really a first-class citizen these days, and it will continue to evolve because of the way the proliferation of content is out there. Everybody's building their own little brick-and-mortar digital store environment for all their content to live. And I think that investment's going to continue, and it's going to continue to chip away at the traditional linear.”

Learn more about a wide range of streaming industry topics at the next Streaming Media Connect in November 2023.

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

The Most Demanded FAST Genre in 2024: News

2024 is the ultimate election year. A total of 91 countries—including the U.S., the U.K., India, and 27 European Union nations—will hold elections. In this context, it's no surprise to witness platforms and news outlets finessing their FAST channel strategy. The BBC News FAST channel launch was perfectly timed in that regard. BBC News is now available as a FAST channel on platforms like Pluto TV, Samsung TV Plus, Xumo Play, VIZIO, and more.

Localization and the Future of the Streaming Ecosystem

Streaming localization is not just about delivering content to multiple regions; it's about "opening up the world," according to Peacock TV VP, Products Quincy Olatunde, who explains why he believes streaming localization is so critically important in this clip from his Streaming Media Connect 2023 keynote conversation with Media Universe Cartographer Evan Shapiro.

Why Doesn't the M & E Industry Embrace New Ways of Thinking?

Are media and entertainment executives listening to the wrong people, and not bringing younger and more diverse voices into the conversation, and is it holding the industry back? While valuing the expertise of boardroom inner circles, are there ways to expand the table to encourage more forward-looking thinking? Peacock TV VP Quincy Olatunde and Media Industry Cartographer Evan Shapiro debate these issues in this clip from their keynote at Streaming Media Connect 2023.

Will Linear Broadcast Be Dead in 2 Years?

Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings has infamously (and possibly even repeatedly) made the claim that linear broadcast will be dead in the water within two years. How does a panel of media industry streaming experts respond to that claim? Rob Dillon, Head of Digital Product, Straight Arrow News, Eric Bergner, Partner, Manatt Digital and Technology Transactions, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Michael Nagle, GM of Streaming, Gannett/USA Today, Johan Bolin, Chief Business Officer, Media & Broadcast, Agile Content, and Corey Smith, Senior Director, Advanced Production Technology, CBS Sports Digital, Paramount, debate Hastings' controversial claim in this clip from their Streaming Media Connect 2023 panel.

Philo TV's Reed Barker Talks Economics of Live Linear Streaming

Philo TV's Reed Barker sits down with Tim Siglin to discuss the economics of live linear streaming in this interview from Streaming Media East 2023.

Will Live Linear Streaming Replace Traditional Broadcast TV?

Digital-first unicast streaming platforms give viewers more flexibility over traditional linear broadcasting while lessening the unpredictable complications of live scheduled programming like sporting events, says Jean Macher of Harmonic

Cloud Migration and the Future of Broadcasting

TAG Video Systems' Peter Wharton and Streaming Media's Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen discuss how OTA broadcasters should be following OTT providers to the cloud with "their origin and everything else they're doing" as soon as possible--if they're not among those already moving in that direction--in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2021.

How Broadcast and Social Complicate Streaming Latency

AWS's Neil Glazebrook and Videon Central's Todd Erdley discuss the challenges of finding a point on the streaming latency spectrum that manages costs while dealing with the push and pull of broadcast and social in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media Connect 2021.