Technology How Are Broadcast TV And Cable TV Different?

How Are Broadcast TV And Cable TV Different?


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It is a digital era where screens surround everyone. Whether it is tablet, mobile, or television, all of us are addicted to it. We grew up watching commercials on TV, although adults do watch more streaming content nowadays, those over 30 still prefer television that is a powerhouse in terms of viewership. Even with the rise of the internet, television still holds its importance. Nevertheless, if you are looking for reliable internet, we recommend getting one from CenturyLink. It has seamless connectivity and CenturyLink internet outage is very rare.

When you plan to put an ad on TV, you have multiple options to choose between cable, local, and broadcast channels. Each of them has its benefits and ad rates. But how do you know which type is right for your message and audience? We have made a handy guide for you to read the difference between broadcast TV and cable TV. Do you want to know the best way through which you can build your brand recognition? Read on as we lowdown some of the differences.

Cable TV:

Cable, as the name suggests, is the way of transmitting programs through coaxial or fiber-optic cables. Cable channels do not use public airwaves to broadcast programs. Instead, they charge their viewers a certain amount of subscription-free for transmission. Cable TV stations work on microwaves sent through cables and, you cannot get these stations without signing up.

Broadcast TV:

Broadcast channels generally utilize public airwaves to transmit TV programs and are picked by anyone with a TV and an antenna. Broadcast TV customers do not get charged anything. It consists of channels like Local News, ABC, PBS, etc.


How are these different?  

Cable and broadcast both have their benefits and shortcomings. We will discuss some main differences between them so you can decide which one is suitable for your business.


1- Reach and audience Targeting:

For an effective advertisement on television, you need to target a specific audience. Cable TV allows you to advertise in your targeted audience area. It saves you money. Since you do not have to pay for the areas in which you are not interested. On the other hand, using a broadcast network forces you to buy the entire market.

But when it comes to targeting a large audience, broadcast plays the best part. Broadcast network generates more viewers. If you want to target your metropolitan area, the broadcast network is the best option since everyone does not have cable.

When you advertise through cable, you only reach cable customers. In some metropolitan areas, there are multiple cable companies which further fragment your audience.


2- Price and frequency:

Advertising through broadcast will charge you more than cable. Due to the large audience, the exposure cost is a bit low. Since they offer a large audience, they can charge you more. On the other hand, the cable will leave you with a much lesser bill at the end of the day.

Studies show that it may take as many as four to five exposures to your brand for it to stick in audiences’ heads. If you have a small audience to target, they should see your spot multiple times than a large audience seeing it once. The cable will play your spot frequently and, it will build awareness among the small amount of audience you target. Advertisement on cable TV draws more business in the long run.


3- Niche Marketing:

Cable TV offers a wide array of channels. It means there is something for everyone, but it reduces the frequency of watching an individual program. Find programs that have large viewership by your audience. Through this way, you can convey your message more effectively.

Broadcast advertising reaches a large audience and, your commercial should be general to maximize your advertisement impact. Your advertisement should speak to additional viewers as well. Even if your product appeals to a narrow range of people, doesn’t mean that you cannot target a large audience. For an effective advertisement, it is crucial to know your target niche market inside out.

Your choice of selecting either cable or broadcast depends on your goals for the campaign. Frequency is important – running your commercial multiple times plays a critical part in driving your campaign. Certain factors should be kept in mind while deciding how to advertise your business on television. These include your location, budget, and target audience.







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