How to treat these problems of American TV?

It may be helpful to understand how the U.S. television industry operates to clarify a few concepts first. Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV are “television providers”, which can be understood as TV signal providers. These companies can be further divided into cable signal providers, satellite signal providers and so on according to their different TV signal transmission modes and equipment. Users pay subscription fees to these companies, and the company installs TV signal processing equipment for users to visit, after which users can watch TV programs on TV. ABC, NBC, HBO and ESPN belong to the “television network”. The TV channels and TV stations in our life also refer to these companies (although some people try to distinguish the concept of TV network and TV station, the public has been accustomed to using these words for so many years). Also according to different transmission methods, these companies can be divided into radio and television, cable television, satellite television, etc. The main functions of TV signal providers are to install, debug and maintain the TV signal transmission network and equipment, ensure the stable transmission and transmission safety of TV signals, and ensure the accurate distribution of TV signals – that is to say, what they can control is to provide accurate TV signals for users who have subscribed to the service, of course, they can also insert advertisements into the TV signals. It’s mainly local advertising. But in their revenue structure, the user subscription fee is the largest, and the advertising fee only accounts for a small part. Take Comcast as an example. In 2013, the cable communication revenue was 20.6 billion US dollars, including 49.7%, 24.6% and 8.7% respectively for TV service subscription, network service subscription and telephone service subscription, and only 5% for advertising. The main function of TV network is the production and distribution of TV content. Most of the advertisements you see on TV programs are added by them, and TV signal providers can’t do anything about them. In the income structure of TV network, advertising expense is the only real big head. Take CBS for example. In the first half of 2014, the revenue of US $6.7 billion, including advertising expenses accounting for 51.9%, and the remaining revenue includes content licensing fees, subscription fees, etc. After understanding these concepts, you will know that, yes, many American TV programs are like this… In Comcast and Time Warner’s own forums, there are quite a lot of users complaining and complaining that the advertisements in the program are too much to bear. Basically everyone complains that it’s normal to have six minutes of program followed by two minutes of advertising. In the annual survey of American customer satisfaction index (ACSI), the average satisfaction of “subscription TV service” industry is below 70 points all year round. As a comparison, in 2014, the average satisfaction of “subscription TV service” was 65 points, while the average satisfaction of “cable phone service” provided by these companies was 73 points. Although it can not be said that low satisfaction is the result of advertising, it can also reflect the dissatisfaction of the American people with the television industry. Comcast, though the largest TV signal provider in the United States, has always been at the end of the industry in terms of customer satisfaction. From 2002 to 2012, Comcast ranked either last or last in ACSI. By 2013 and 2014, it’s not easy to have two consecutive years of higher satisfaction than Time Warner, but the two companies are ready to merge… According to this trend, the satisfaction of the merged two companies will only be more stable in the next to last position in the future. For the audience, there is no way to avoid watching advertisements. It was also explained in Comcast’s forum that most of the advertisements are from TV network companies. What’s the use of complaining to signal providers? Some even suggest developing a TV version of Adblock to block advertising… Even if you choose to watch the program online, Adblock can only block the advertising content, and you have to endure the tens of seconds between programs. What’s more, as soon as many companies detect that you have installed anti advertising plug-ins, they will immediately pop up a page to let you close the plug-ins. If you don’t close it, you can’t continue to watch it. Will you choose to compromise for your favorite programs, or will you resolutely fight with crafty TV companies to the end? For cable channels like HBO, Showtime and ESPN, there are indeed fewer or no ads. The charging mode of these channels is that TV signal providers collect subscription fees from users, and then pay royalties to these channels so that the signals of these channels can be transmitted in their own networks. But these cable channels are also divided into basic channels and premium channels according to the number of viewers and popularity. HBO, ESPN and other channels with high audience belong to premium channel. In the negotiation with TV signal providers, there is a large bargaining space for them to get as high a subscription fee as possible. In this way, they can live a very moist life only depending on the subscription fee, so that they refuse the emergence of advertisements in their own channels. However, for basic channels and many premium channels, the bargaining space with TV signal providers is very small, and the subscription fee charged is not enough to support the content production and development of the channel. At this time, they will also choose to add a wide range of content.

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