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Here to Stay: Advantages of Cable TV Ensure Its Survival

March 22nd, 2019   ||    by Callie Wheeler

Despite prophecies of an unavoidable death, the advantages of cable TV ensure its survival for the foreseeable future. Even as Netflix and Hulu win awards for their original programming and more households mix over-the-top (OTT) into their viewing routine, cable TV has a fixed place in consumers’ lives.

A look at news, live TV, and current events proves the advantages of cable TV not just for viewers, but for advertisers, too.

Local and Cable News

While Pew Research Center found Americans are not relying on television as much for their news, the reality is hardly bleak: about half of Americans get their news primarily from local, broadcast, or cable TV, while nearly 60 percent of seniors (65 years and older) depend on cable TV for their news.

In fact, as consumers learn about fake news online, Forbes reported that consumers trust television news as “exponentially more trustworthy information” than other platforms during political campaigns.

News, which by its very definition indicates timeliness in reporting, thrives in the world of cable TV in a way it can’t via OTT providers.

Live TV

Live television, from reality TV to late night talk shows, is another reason cable isn’t going anywhere. Live TV events like awards shows, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and special programming—musicals, anyone?—provide audiences and brands a unique opportunity hinged on the ability to bring groups of people together to watch something at the same time.

One of the advantages of cable TV is undoubtedly the excitement that comes with watching a TV program at the time it is being recorded. Today’s TV viewers do so by live tweeting, hosting watch parties, and providing play-by-plays on Instagram Stories. OTT can’t compete here, as its whole point is the lack of a schedule.

Current Events

Ultimately, all of this comes down to timeliness. From live events to the news, viewers are looking for current, relevant information, and this is a huge strength of cable TV. In fact, current events, from political to pop culture, are the life blood of many of the programs we know and love.

From Saturday Night Live to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, audiences love to laugh at, learn from, and talk about what’s going on in the world today. This is all made possible by the stalwarts of the television industry: broadcast and cable.

Alive and Kicking

For the brand who wants to reach engaged audiences, cable has opportunities in spades. And just one of the advantages of cable TV provides enough reason to bite: time, and it’s as simple as that.

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