Streaming Services Stole Their Viewers. Now Networks Are Fighting Back

From more events to ‘urgent’ shows, how broadcast and cable channels have shifted linear strategies

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It’s been a brutal few years for broadcast and cable networks. Many are seeing annual double-digit ratings declines as audiences increasingly turn their back on live linear viewing and flock to streaming services.

Now, the networks are fighting back.

Many have rolled out new programming strategies in an effort to leverage the power of linear TV over its streaming rivals. “I think any network has to look at themselves right now and say, ‘We have to shift to the audience’s tastes,’” said USA Network and Syfy chief Chris McCumber.

Adweek spoke to several network execs about their plans to hold on to viewers.




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This story first appeared in the Feb. 24, 2020, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.