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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 28, 2014

Local Broadcasting Is a Trillion-dollar Ecosystem, Study Finds

By Miguel Leiva-Gomez, TMCnet Contributor

Woods & Poole Economics, a company that forecasts and projects county economies, has released a study recently that found that local broadcast television and radio generates approximately $1.24 trillion to the national gross domestic product (GDP) in the United States annually. The study's methodology includes taking each of the 50 states and analyzing how television and local radio broadcasting affects each economy. It has found that the economic impact of this industry will continue to grow, despite the increased reliance on the internet as a means of information and news.

Gordon Smith, CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), said, “Broadcast radio and television stations not only provide valuable local news, weather, and public affairs programming to local communities, but also serve as a key driver for economic growth in America's hometowns. Whether it is by providing hundreds of thousands of jobs or offering an advertising platform for small businesses, local broadcasting has an unmatched legacy as an engine for economic development and growth.”

Woods & Poole released the report as part of the NAB State Leadership conference, with 500 participants, all broadcasters from all over the United States, gather and visit Congress.

The company's analysis of the broadcasting industry also found that it is an enormous job creator, generating an estimated 313,000 jobs, with 188,000 of them coming from television broadcasting. According to the study, “the commercial local broadcast industry...is critically important to the United States economy as a whole and to local economies in particular. Local radio and television's key role in the dissemination of entertainment and local programming is well established. Its important value to the national economy is often overlooked, and in many ways taken for granted.”

Most of the economic activity generated by the broadcasting industry is indirect. The study makes this clear by stating: “Each worker directly employed in local television and radio broadcasting maintains a household and consumes all of the goods and services American workers consume. A worker in local broadcast television advertising consumes manufacturing output when he or she purchases an automobile.”

What this study has demonstrated most is that all industries are, in one way or another, intertwined. They provide each other with goods, services, and consumers. This kind of development is largely because of the cooperation of individuals, rather than a man living in a white box directing everything.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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