How the Internet is changing local TV


Bear Stearns conducted a conference call last week on the local television Internet business – specifically how broadcasters can tap into the new and growing revenue stream. Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell estimates that by 2010 online video will represent 35% of total online revenues, up from only 0.4% this year. "Broadcasters need to position themselves for this opportunity," Bear Stearns analyst Victor Miller wrote in a summary for clients, noting that newspaper websites are adapting by adding video to their websites. While local TV web revenues are expected to total 700 million this year that is expected to hit 1.6 billion in 2010. "It’s local broadcast TV’s game to lose," noted Miller, with both Borrell and WorldNow CEO Gary Gannoway raising issues that broadcasters need to address. "Are managers commissioned to the success of internet revenue growth? Do local broadcasters have a dedicated sales force? What are the station’s key performance indicators for online growth? What percentage of online ad dollars comes from non-broadcast advertisers? Are they reaching new customers or upselling to existing customers?" Many important questions. Has your station answered them?