NATPE Virtual: local TV continues to fill the content demand of all demos

This year’s Natpe’s virtual session, “The Power Of Local Television,” brought in executives from NBCUniversal, CBS, Scripps, and Sinclair Broadcast Group, among others, to discuss the continued need for local TV, the rise of multicasting, and strategies recently used by media giants to overcome the hardships produced by the pandemic.

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Natpe’s virtual session, “The Power Of Local Television,” gathered a group of executives who held discussions about demands that continued to be fulfilled by local tv, prominent upcoming opportunities for advertisers, the increasing popularity of multicasting, and ways of efficiently using local content demand to maximize. Various market strategies were also suggested to endure the challenges media companies face amid the pandemic. 

NBCUniversal Local’s Chairman Valari Stabb spoke about the current status and benefits of local TV and her projections for the local market in the future. After highlighting the success of Peacock, the company’s streaming service, credited with record linear ratings and numerous local ad deals, Slabb also revealed the results the company recorded for a few projects from the company’s slate of syndicated titles, such as the “Kelly Clarkson Show” indicating that the popularity of the show stemmed from the American general public’s love for Clarkson, and the launch of entertainment programming production unit, LX. The executive also revealed some of the company’s linear plans for Telemundo, including the World Cup, scheduled for this Fall. Expecting a large sum of viewers, the network will provide massive coverage for the event using the reporting of 12 journalists. 

Editor of NewsCheckMedia, LLC, Michael Depp, Chief Distribution Officer of Scripps Networks, Jeffrey Wolf,  EVP of Ad Sales, CBS Media Ventures and Dabl Scott Trupchak, and SVP of Growth Networks and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Scott Ehrlich also provided their insights at the conference, analyzed ways to maximize revenue from both, linear outlets as well as original multicasting networks and digital platforms, and critical investing points to consider to maximize revenues, among other topics.

According to Wolf, original multicast networks have proven profitable, driving high revenues. At the same time, linear platforms and fast channels also continue to gain traction amid the transformation of the general content distribution model. “The challenge is figuring out what the future looks like for distribution which is ever easy, won’t be the same in a single market,” Wolf said, adding that it will likely take companies a few years to establish an effective new distribution strategy. While emphasizing the importance of high ratings and identifying which demographics attract networks, the experts explained that younger generations had expressed a need for linear options to fulfill viewing interests offered by streamers. Various networks, such as Stadium, attract viewers of all ages based on one interest, and others attract 

The conference also brought in WarnerMedia’s Chief Research Officer Liz Huszarik, who shared findings indicated in a study conducted alongside the Kantar Group, revealing that storytelling that offers escapism and fulfills local demands are one of the most effective ways to attract higher-spending demographics and ultimately generate enough revenue to overcome challenges induce by the pandemic.