Some not-great, sort-of-obvious news for local TV stations: The Web won’t save you.
So says Wachovia analyst Marci Ryvicker, who argues that the stations’ lead-footed forays on the Internet and with their own multicast digital channels “leads us to believe that we are at least five (if not 10) years away before new media/digital opportunities have any financial significance in the broadcast space.”
Terrestrial radio isn’t doing any better. Stung with defeat over the Sirius-XM Radio merger, they face similar challenges in building businesses out of their own additional digital spectrum. Ryvicker says “it is amazing to us,” that HD radio still isn’t in cars (but satellite is), and that “radio groups still plan to use the spectrum for programming rather than for datacasting or on-demand alternatives.”
Local TV is comparatively relatively insulated from the ravages of the Web, but it’s still getting beaten up, and the hammering will only get worse over time. The real losers could be the companies like TitanTV, who intend to make money by moving the local stations online. Tough sell.
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