Moving Forward in a COVID-19 World: Local TV is Key

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Local broadcast TV has always been an important tool to advertisers because of its ability to target based on regional sales, seasonality and distribution. However, because of COVID-19, local TV messaging has become imperative. After most of the country was on lockdown in March and April, it is only now that we are slowly reopening and recovering, city by city, state by state and region by region. As our economic re-growth begins, flexibility, impact, and the right partners are critical to providing timely, geographically targeted messages that reach consumers quickly in a trusted environment.

To assist in evaluating how local broadcast TV can help with messaging, TVB has put together an analysis on how and why local broadcast television remains the go-to source for advertisers, even more so now than ever before, and how both local and national advertisers can build on TV stations’ trusted relationships with local consumers.

Among the highlights:

  • Local TV always made sense for advertisers because it recognizes:
    •  Products’ geographic sales and distribution strengths.
    •  Local product sales’ seasonality.
  • In Today’s COVID-19 world local TV messaging is imperative.
    • Reopening the U.S. has differed greatly; some states never fully closed, while others are only starting to reopen now.
    • Broadcast TV is the go-to source for information & updates on the coronavirus.
    • This is reflected in ongoing increases in local TV news viewing versus a year ago.
  • Local TV provides advertisers with flexibility, impact and a trusted partner.
    • Timely.
    • Geographically targeted messages.
    • Reaches consumers quickly.
    • In a trusted environment.
  • Not all TV is created equal:
    • Local broadcast TV offers key advantages over cable TV.
      • Higher reach.
      • Broadcast had about double cable’s lift rate in website traffic.
      • Broadcast reaches all TV homes.


Source: Nielsen, NLTV, A18-34 % Increases Vs. 2019 for the cume of each program’s weekly average impressions in the 25 LPMs. M-F Evening News 4-8p. ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC, Tel, Uni


Source: TVB/Dynata Coronavirus Media Usage Study April 2020 P18+ N = 10,042
Q9: For each source, please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statement: I trust the News that I see/hear on this media source… (Top two boxes = Agree Strongly and Agree Somewhat)

For more information, please contact Hadassa Gerber, Chief Research Officer, TVB.

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