NBC, CBS and ABC Losing the Market Share Battle for Consumer Attention

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Craig’s NewYorkBusiness.com is reporting that old media hits the skids as new models roil market. The report describes how TV viewership is down at NBC by 11%, at CBS by 10%, and ABC is down 5%.

From broadcast to print to music, New York’s old media companies stumbled in the face of the chaos brought about by new media in 2007. The future of some of the city’s most venerable companies and brands looks suddenly shaky.

We have entered into a new era for television and the industry just does not seem to understand the shift. Like the print and music industries before them they are struggling with a business model that is not prepared to do battle in these new times.

These networks have enjoyed 50 years of consumer attention surpluses and now must face the consumer attention shortage. It is a market share battle for attention that requires the industry to reconfigure itself, lower costs and expand production across medias all at the same time.

The current writers strike and other upcoming labor issues is like the auto industry’s struggle with lower cost competitors and the UAW’s attempt to protect high paying jobs in the face of non-union based lower cost competitors. Both sides had lots of economic rational to protect their entrenched positions, but it came at the expense of their long term health.

Lower cost competitors are swamping the media market with content and taking share from traditional players. The Guild and management are locked in a battle over how they will share what may be very diminished returns if they don’t get back to work soon. They need to get focused on growing the pie or there won’t be much left to fight over.

[tags]network tv, tv viewership, writers’ strike, attention[/tags]

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