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Live events such as NBC's 'The Wiz Live!' prove that viewers aren't cord cutting as quickly as some in the industry believe.

Cord Cutting Isn’t a Reality Yet, as NBC’s ‘The Wiz Live!’ Proves

December 11th, 2015   ||    by Callie Wheeler

Many broadcasters and advertisers have been wringing their hands over cord cutting, but live events are proving to be a valuable way to reach viewers. Last week’s NBC program, The Wiz Live!, garnered ratings that should raise the eyebrows of broadcasters and advertisers trying to find the best ways to reach coveted audiences.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

The Wiz Live! not only registered 11.5 million viewers but also pushed NBC to the top network spot in weekly ratings, according to TVNewsCheck. Reaching 11 percent of 18–49-year-old TV watchers, according to Nielsen reports, the production bested all non-sports network television for the week, with the exception of The Voice, another NBC program. Especially impressive was the program’s reach among an audience many consider especially at risk for cord cutting: millennials.

However, what do events like The Wiz Live! mean for broadcasters and advertisers amid the larger dilemma of cord cutting?

The Audience Is Still Out There

It’s important to realize that numbers show an overwhelming majority of viewers are not yet cutting the cord. In fact, a survey of millennials by Media Life Magazine found only 20 percent had already cut the cord, while only 10 percent were even considering doing so anytime soon. These statistics decrease further for every other age group.

So, while a majority of viewers are still watching TV traditionally, it’s essential for broadcasters to do their best to retain them before they start to turn to alternative providers.

Reaching Viewers With the Right Content

Successful live programming of late indicates some broadcasters are already working to better relate to audiences by providing interesting, innovative content. After all, today’s consumers have more choices than ever before, so customization, relevant content, and variety are of utmost importance.

MediaPost found that 80 percent of consumers surveyed were interested in TV packages that let them customize the channels they pay for, while others remain interested in a combination of network and cable channel options alongside Internet-based options.

Rather than cord cutting entirely, consumers are pushing for greater control over what and how they consume—but live events are proving to be a happy medium. By providing special programming, live events attract audiences with the promise of unique experiences, guaranteeing greater engagement for advertisers and valuable inventory for broadcasters. Broadcasters can take heart that viewers still value television in its traditional form, and steady viewership proves the worth of station groups’ inventory. By embracing innovative programming experiences such as live events, networks can tap into increased viewership and ratings, working to retain current viewers while the numbers are still in their favor.

If you want to make the most of your viewership, reach out to Videa today.

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