Why Broadcast TV Stations and Daytime Programming “Are In Big Trouble”





Watching tv and using remote control

The shift towards creating content specifically for streaming services and away from syndicated content are leaving local stations scrambling to fill their daytime lineups. The result: You may see a lot more reruns and filler content if you tune in to a local station in the afternoon.

Syndication, content licensed to air on multiple stations, is dramatically changing on daytime television as studios opt out of costly daily programming, such as daily talk shows, in lieu of more cost-effective series that can be promoted on their streaming services.

“At the end of the day, broadcast TV stations are in big trouble,” says Byron Allen, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group, according to TV News Check

A robust daytime lineup at local stations, filled with talk shows and soap operas, is a casualty in the move to streaming. It’s become a vicious cycle, with fewer people watching local stations leading to even less content available to them, as studios opt for richer streaming pastures. 

In February, Warner Bros. Discovery canceled People’s Court and Judge Mathis, two of its longest-running court shows. 

CBS Media Ventures, a leading producer of syndicated series, saw top-rated Judge Judy end its run on the network in 2021, and she has since switched to streaming on Amazon Freevee.

“The suppliers on whom they have depended for content for decades have abandoned them,” said Allen. “They are taking their capital, their resources and their content and they are putting it on streaming platforms to go directly to consumers.” 

CBS also stopped airing two more of its top-rated talk shows this year, Dr. Phil and Rachel Ray. Instead, the network will show some 600 episodes of 48 Hours to fill slots. True crime and court shows are less expensive because they can be quickly produced in batches and accumulate a large supply of shows.

Disney is shifting focus from traditional linear television to streaming to stay competitive in an ever-evolving entertainment industry, CEO Bob Iger confirmed this summer. The studio hasn’t produced a first-run syndicated show since Tamron Hall in 2019, according to TV News Check

Local television stations are also scaling back on spending by shifting toward airing low-cost reruns and game shows. Three new competitive series are filling vacant daytime television slows: People Puzzler hosted by Leah Remini, Person Place or Thing hosted by Melissa Peterman on Fox, and Who The Bleep Is That? on TMZ.

Eventually, stations must add some variety to their daytime lineups with original content to keep customers from completely switching to streaming.

“[I]f you start programming repeats into your schedule, you are just adding to the doom spiral,” says Stephen Brown, executive vice president of programming at Fox Television Stations and Fox First Run.

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