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Working Paper

Broadcast Television: Survivor in a Sea of Competition

Jonathan Levy, Marcelino Ford-Livene, and Anne Levine.  

OSP Working Paper 37 (Sept 2002) also was released as Media Bureau Staff Research Paper 12, being a joint effort of that office and bureau.  The authors examine some of the challenges facing the television broadcast industry.  They find that, although the decade of the 1990s saw a continuing erosion of broadcast audience and advertising shares, television advertising prices and revenues have continued to grow.  However, DBS and the expansion in cable availability and channel capacity created an increasingly competitive environment for television broadcasting.

The authors conclude that this competition will lead to continuing audience fragmentation and further pressure on broadcast advertising revenues.  The increasing competition for program production resources has already led to an increase in production costs.  They also conclude that the future profitability of the broadcast industry will depend on how it responds to competition and cost pressures, and on whether it can harness new technologies such as DTV and interactive services to its benefit.

Issued: September 2002

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