By Todd Murphy | June 15th, 2016
UPDATE: Hearst Television and Dish TV go dark are now at odds over carriage and re-transmission fees. Same story, different stations, markets, and satellite provider. The net effect of this dispute is that if your current media monitoring service is still using cable service or satellite service to monitor your news, you will forever be subjected to these outages and miss important television news. Hearst says it owns and operates local TV and radio stations in 26 markets across 39 states. They reach almost 20% of the U.S. population with their newscasts. Can you afford to not know what 1/5th of the population is seeing about your company, organization, or client?
At the risk of sounding like Samuel L. Jackson I need to ask, “Who’s monitoring your news?” If it is Universal Information Services, you are safe. Our monitoring network is almost completely based on over-the-air antennas. This provides the highest quality HD video and no outages from re-transmission disputes. Any other service could leave you or your client in the public relations dark. The latest dispute impacts these markets, so if you need monitoring in these markets and you’re not using Universal, let us know and we will help. Even if it is a temporary situation to get you through this period, we’re happy to jump in.
Those companies or agencies using other media monitoring services to track their TV coverage may be suffering from the outage caused by the current DishTV and Tribune Media dispute over license fees. These carriage fee disputes are not uncommon. We’ve seen them hit cable systems and satellite carriers alike.
Regardless of who is right in this case, the impact is that local news might be missing from 34 states if you use a different TV monitoring service to track your news. TV Monitoring requires a system of reception to receive all channels monitored, plus a back-end system to index, analyze, and serve up reports of your key mentions. When a station group gets in a dispute with a cable provider or a satellite carrier, the fight can reach an impasse. When that happens it is not uncommon for the station group to pull their stations from the carrier, or have the satellite or cable provider to block those local channels. This results in the news monitoring clients losing access to news from all those affiliates.
Universal doesn’t use consolidated satellite reception to track TV news. With all eggs in one basket, big holes like the aforementioned Dish/Tribune problem can occur. We’re even moving away from cable providers for the best reliability, quality, and comprehensive coverage. We go to a greater expense to put our monitoring systems in every individual TV market. In most cases, we are receiving the highest quality HD content via over-the-air antennas. A level of quality and cost our competitors won’t go to.
If you can’t afford to miss important news stories in the local markets, let us know. We can help with a short term monitoring agreement until your current vendor recovers those missing stations. If you need a more stable monitoring platform, we would be happy to discuss your transition to Universal. And if you just want to know more about how media monitoring works, let us know.