TV Executives Finally Pull Their Head out of the Sand

Anyone that has a high school or college aged kid has known this for years, the TV executives are just figuring it out.

The younger generation is not watching regular TV. 

With YouTube, Netflix, HULU and social media young Americans that used to turn to television for entertainment is finding its fix elsewhere.

This migration has been gradual but is starting to show up in the quarterly results of some of the world’s biggest media companies — and investors are beginning to notice.

Television executives have finally started sounding the alarm when media companies reporting lower advertising revenues for some or all of their networks.

Todd Juenger, senior analyst with Bernstein Research, called the ratings declines “alarming” and “unprecedented”.

The trend has continued into the most recent round of financial results, with Viacom among the worst hit. The company, controlled by 91-year-old billionaire Sumner Redstone, has suffered some of the sharpest ratings declines, with viewership down 18 per cent in the fourth quarter, according to a MoffettNathanson analysis of Nielsen data. 

BET, which is aimed at African-American audiences, fell 22 per cent, the children’s network Nickelodeon was down 17 per cent while MTV declined 14 per cent.

Viacom’s profits have held steady but on the company’s recent investor call, Philippe Dauman, chief executive, alluded to significant changes in audience habits. “It is no secret that there are far-reaching shifts taking place in our industry,” he said.

People have warned media companies for years that this was happening, it appears the TV executives have finally taken their head out of the sand to figure that out. 

The question it too late?

Stay tuned....

H/T Financial Times