TEXAS: The number of ad spots placed in Texas and Oklahoma has jumped by more than 50% in the past year alone, according to data from the Association of Public Television Directors.
That is not a trend that was predicted by the industry’s own experts, who said the increase in ads was unlikely to translate into a change in the way people watch TV.
But now that the trend is being seen, they have been pushing for more TV stations to create more local content.
In a letter to the FCC, the American Association of State Public Television directors called for “more local programming” and said the rise in local ads had created an “unprecedented need” for more stations to broadcast local content in a bid to boost viewership.
The association also called for the FCC to “immediately” increase the amount of stations that are allowed to broadcast live programming and for the Commission to “ensure that all stations in the United States are subject to the same rules and regulations that apply to all other broadcasting entities.”
The FCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A spokeswoman for the National Association of Broadcasters, which represents the largest public broadcasters, said the organization would work with the FCC “to ensure that broadcasters are able to maintain and expand their local reach in a competitive marketplace.”
But the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which has more than 2,000 local affiliates, said that its members have been “slow to adopt new rules or regulations” to boost local programming.
In its letter, the association called for new regulations to “improve the quality of local programming,” including requiring broadcasters to provide more local programming on a more consistent basis.
The FCC has also taken steps to regulate television stations in states where the local programming is local.
In Texas, the FCC has issued regulations that require stations to show at least 25% local programming and to provide a local channel for at least 50% of their programming.