Broadcast TV versus Cable TV in Tampa Bay, Part 1

March 24, 2010 at 11:54 AM 2 comments

The FCG Research Team just finished up updating our annual presentation comparing broadcast television advertising to cable television advertising.  Here are some great research tidbits from that presentation:

Broadcast Television Strengths

  • According to bi-annual studies conducted by the Television Bureau of Advertising and Nielsen Media Research, the public consistently perceives broadcast television as the most influential, most authoritative, most exciting and most persuasive  advertising medium. Despite the attention given to cable news networks such as Fox News and CNN, broadcast TV is also consistently seen as the primary news source, the first choice for weather, traffic and sports and the most involved in community.

Primary Source for News








First Choice for Weather, Traffic and Sports








Most Involved in Community



Source: TVB, Nielsen Media Research Custom Survey 2008. Graphs illustrate Adults 18+.

  • In February 2010, the combined 9 broadcast networks delivered a total of 35.4 household ratings points in prime. In comparison, it took 42 cable networks combined to deliver 29.4 household rating points. On average, each broadcast network delivered more than 5 times as many households viewing as any cable network.  Source: Nielsen Media Research, February 2010

Cable and ADS Penetration in Tampa

  • Although market average cable penetration is 79%, the individual county coverage varies wildly, ranging from 37% to 88%. In fact, SIX out of 10 counties in the Tampa DMA have cable penetrations under the market average.
  • Like cable coverage, although market average ADS penetration is 16%, the individual county coverage varies wildly, ranging from 7% to 56%. In fact, five out of 10 counties in the Tampa DMA have ADS penetrations over the market average.
County Cable Penetration ADS Penetration
Citrus 75% 22%
Hardee 37% 42%
Highlands 40% 56%
Hernando 71% 27%
Hillsborough 80% 15%
Manatee 86% 13%
Pasco 77% 15%
Pinellas 88% 7%
Polk 65% 29%
Sarasota 87% 12%
Mkt Avg 79% 16%

Source: Nielsen Media Research, February 2010

  • Cable penetration in the Tampa market had been declining from 2002 to 2008. Since the arrival of competing cable system VerizonFIOS in the Tampa Bay area in Spring  2006, overall cable penetration is on the rise in the market.

  • Although penetration of Alternate Delivery Systems (ADS) such as Satellite has been declining in the past year, overall market penetration still remains above 16%. Advertisements placed on local cable systems are not received by ADS homes.



Entry filed under: Advertising Tips, General Research, Market Conditions, Television.

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