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Benefits of Traditional Media: Cable Television

Posted by Drew Conklin on Thu, Sep 8, 2016 @ 15:09 PM

As mentioned in our blog on Broadcast Television, we will be discussing Cable Television as a separate Traditional Media option. So with that, here is our continuing look into Traditional Media options and the benefits of each. 

When we think about Television in general, it is just Television; a mix of both Broadcast and Cable. However, when it comes to purchasing, we need to think about them separately.Now there are constant talks about Cord Cutting, and while Cable has seen some loss, the decline is not one that should make you shy away from utilizing it as a media vehicle; we still believe it is a good media idea with a sizable audience.

Here are the key benefits of Cable Television:

  • Inventory: Unlike Broadcast channels who only have spot inventory available on their own, single network, Cable Television does not have that issue. Think about when you are flipping through your Cable channels and it is just station after station. The picture at the top of this blog is just a handful. With a roster of so many channels to sell, inventory availability is seldom a problem. In all my years of planning and buying, I have never been told a network/show is soldout. From a buying standpoint, you have one point of contact for Cable, whereas with Broadcast, you need to deal with a different point of contact at each network.
  • Targeting: As with Broadcast TV, you can target based on demographic information like Men 18-49, since Cable Television is also rated by Nielsen. But think about all the available networks out there, each with its own specific niche. You want to reach women, then look at channels like Lifetime, Hallmark, or TLC. What if you want to reach young males, then you have channels like Spike or Adult Swim. No matter who you are trying to reach, there is a network out there for you.
  • Zoning: Along with targeting, a huge benefit of cable is that you can target a specific geography through a provider's cable zones rather than buy an entire DMA which is required with Broadcast TV. We recommend Cable frequently to advertisers that have a produced spot, but either cannot afford broadcast in their market, don't need to reach the whole DMA, or are not allowed to advertise in certain geographies. This makes a TV spend much more efficient.
  • Spot Cost: In comparison with Broadcast television spot costs, Cable Television costs are lower. Now this is in part due to audience size difference between Cable and Broadcast. However, don't let that worry you; the number of networks and shows you can purchase through Cable allows you to deliver your message to a very loyal, dedicated and still quite large audience. Even the most popular shows still cost less than popular Broadcast Primetime shows. 
  • Advanced Opportunities: Beyond the traditional spot placements available, Cable providers offer unique opportunities for advertisers to deliver their message to potential customers. A couple of examples include offerings from Comcast that include Telescoping and RFI. These opportunities allow you to deliver more than a simple :30 second commercial. Cable offers you the opportunity to think outside the box.
  • Programs: Over the last decade, Cable networks have pushed the envelope when it comes to programming, many of which would never be touched by Broadcast channels. Show like The Walking Dead, Rescue Me, Mr. Robot, and the Ad World's favorite, Mad Men, have been some of the top rated shows in all of Television. Each show has a slight edge with their content, something Broadcast Networks traditionally shy away from, but all award winning with great stories that depending on your target consumer, will be a great fit. 

At the end of the day, Cable Television offers many unique opportunities, with strong programming and networks that make it a strong option for consideration in any media plan.

Be sure to check out our other blogs in our Traditional Media Series, and if you are thinking of advertising your business, be that in the traditional or the digital space, and you need some help, give us call, we are here to help.


Topics: traditional media buying, media buying, Traditional Advertising, benefits of traditional media, cable advertising

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