Streaming Surge Affirmed: Nielsen’s Total Audience Report


From the mid-March full-blown arrival of the novel coronavirus in the U.S., broadcast TV station owners have salivated over the prospect of increased viewing. On February 26, Nexstar Media Group founder and President/CEO Perry Sook responded to one Wall Street analyst’s COVID-19 during his company’s Q4 2019 earnings call by declaring, “It could potentially benefit our business because people would be quarantined at home.”

Sook even suggested that even if live events, which drive broadcast TV ratings and revenue, were canceled, consumers would watch Nexstar stations more because they’d be unable to partake in their normal routines, including patronizing many of the stations’ advertising clients.

Viewership surged, then receded as the shelter-at-home restrictions ebbed. And, despite that surge, ad revenues plummeted, offset by retransmission fees, at broadcast TV companies across the nation.

Now comes new findings from Nielsen that suggest these COVID-19 times have only accelerated The Great OTT Shift.


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