How the future of TV and streaming has – and hasn’t – been reshaped so far by 2020

Digiday 16 Sep 2020 04:01
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Image credit: Ivy Liu
September 16, 2020 by Tim Peterson

Football is back. TV and streaming shows are in production. The annual TV upfront negotiations are winding down. So has the coronavirus crisis’s impact on the TV and streaming industry ended and everything has returned to normal? Yes, but also no.

Six months after the crisis became a pandemic, the TV and streaming industry seems to be settling into a new normal than more closely resembles the old normal than may have been expected back in March-April. There have been changes — virtual fans in stands, remotely produced interviews, a new acceptance of flexibility in TV advertising — but they seem to be more incremental than absolute, based on recent conversations with industry executives. 

For as much as streaming has grown, traditional TV has remained the dominant medium among audiences and advertisers. TV networks’ and streaming services’ programming pipelines have been impaired but not imperiled to the point that they are loading up on Zoom-shot shows. And while Zoom continues to play an outsized part in shows’ productions, its production imprint dwindles by the day. Even the annual TV upfront model has remained largely in tact.

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