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The TV Broadcasters have the better ads

This is an interesting post from Jeff about the battle being played over the airwaves between the Canadian brodcasters (“make cable companies put some of their profits towards local TV programming”) and the cable companies (“the broadcasters want us to impose a TV tax on you”).

At the moment, it appears the Broadcasters ads on this are winning over more people, by a sizable margin:

A majority of Canadians believe local television stations should receive a portion of what consumers pay monthly to their cable companies, according to a new poll. Seventy-two per cent of those who took part in a Nanos Research study agreed, when asked whether “the government should force the cable companies and broadcasters to negotiate payment for local TV signals.” Fifty-seven per cent agreed when asked whether they believe local TV stations will close, “if cable companies don’t pay for the local TV signals.”

Jeff is skeptical that these numbers reflect the general public, but I’m not so sure. My impression is the broadcasters ads are far more effective at pushing buttons with the “save local tv” message, and they’ve played several variations of that message. Meanwhile, all the cable companies have done is push the same advertisement over and over again asking you to “stop the tv tax” – trying to tie the message of “raising taxes” with what the broadcasters want.

If anecdotal evidence means anything from observing some local reaction around here where I live, the Canadian broadcasters have the edge. Local TV stations are important around here, and nothing irritated people more then to see the local A-News channel in London lose its morning show (despite being the most viewed one in the area), losing 2 very popular TV hosts, and replacing that morning segment by playing a re-run of the previous 11 pm news from the night before. The irritated reaction at that decision seems to have not been aimed at CTV for cutting it, but accepting their declaration they needed help, and willing to accept the argument that cable tv wasnt paying its fair share towards preserving local TV.

I’m not saying that’s the correct reaction, nor am I necessarily dismissing Jeff’s reasons why he takes issue with the Canadian broadcasters and sides with the cable companies arguments… I’m just saying that anecdotal evidence from around here seems to fit in with the polling. Right now, it appears Cable TV has been out-maneuvered in the message war.

(As an aside, it also gives evidence to my Liberal strategist friends that if you do a proper message and theme, people aren’t always going to accept the “it’s a tax!” argument against trying to implementing environmental or social programs – ie Green Shift. I hope Peter Donolo, the new OLO strategist for Ignatieff takes note).

1 comment to The TV Broadcasters have the better ads

  • The reality is that those A-Channels are operated out of Toronto. Except for the news, the A-Channels air the same programs at the same time across Ontario. The only difference is the local commercial content.

    The broadcast companies can use well-known personalities to spin their side; the cable and satellite companies have none.

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