February 28, 2009

TV networks struggling to make profit

Profits are down at the top four major U.S. TV networks as they attempt to adjust their offerings to jack up revenues, experts say.

The New York Times reported Saturday that even CBS, which has consistently been a ratings front-runner this TV season, has seen a significant decline in profits due to the rising cost of producing drama series and declining advertising.

Gary Carr, broadcast services director for the TargetCast tcm media company, said networks are struggling with the combination of higher advertising costs and dwindling viewership numbers.

More dollars are chasing fewer eyeballs, Carr said.

Initiative U.S.A. President Tim Spengler agreed, saying a change is likely due among the top networks.

Prime-time television has been so expensive, Spengler said. The price premium is getting out of whack, and I think you'll see some pullback.

The Times said another change possibly in store for basic TV viewers is an upsurge in reality TV series, which are cheaper to produce.