DVRs Giving Broadcast News a Second Chance

Posted: November 15, 2010 in Broadcast News

Before the internet and 24-hour news networks, broadcast news was a major source of information for millions of Americans. Morning newspapers provided people with news from the previous day and the 6 o’clock news programs caught them up on what happened while everyone was at work. In the 21st century, many Americans maintain jobs that don’t allow them to watch shows such as NBC’s “Nightly News”, ABC’s “World News” or the “CBS Evening News.” Fortunately, present day technology allows viewers to record television with ease, eliminating the immediacy past generations dealt with.

Despite the availability of news at all hours of the day, millions of viewers still follow local news programs regardless of their daily habits. The success of digital video recorders(DVRs) has helped nightly news programs maintain their audience and according to the New York Times article, shows such as NBC’s “Nightly News” are finally starting to acknowledge the help DVRs provide. The several hundred thousand viewers that record these programs are exhibiting more effort to consistently watch than viewers that happen to be watching TV while the show is aired. This current capability available to news viewers may be one of the main reasons network evening news programs still have such a larger audience than cable news. With a rapid decline in broadcast primetime news and a gradual incline in cable primetime news, broadcast still has 82 percent more viewers than cable does. A majority of their audience is adults over 50 that have been watching the evening news for most of their life. Younger viewers are getting in the habit of recording and watching broadcast news as well, which could help continue the culture that has kept these programs in the forefront of television news.

Technology has allowed television to stand still and be timeless all at the same time. Americans can never be too busy to catch a newscast as long as they set their DVR. Now that broadcast programs are accepting the opportunities that are available because of this technology, producers can begin to gear advertisements towards these specific viewers and embrace the new possibilities that today offers.


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