NEW YORK: OTT is emerging as a viable secondary content distribution platform for local TV channels to capture certain audiences and generate new advertising revenue streams.

“As affiliation agreements get more troublesome and expensive, development of OTT channels give you an opportunity to build your local content and work on getting back to a 24/7 channel without network participation,” Brad Ward, CEO of, an Illinois-based digital media and online publishing company, explained to Adweek.

“This is just smart to be ready for what the future might hold,” he added. “Livestreams specifically, once fully developed, can be offered to the cable companies.”

An example of this approach is a deal between the Real Salt Lake MLS team and NBC affiliate KSL-TV – the first time a professional American sports team has partnered with a local broadcast station on a local-only over-the-top deal, Adweek noted – which allows fans to download a free ad-supported app and watch live games.

The app currently pulls in between 30,000 and 50,000 views a game – rather more than the average 20,000 physical attendance.

While sports offer an obvious route into this area, news and lifestyle programming are also being explored.

“Most of our programming is news programming and we are building out more and more programming to put on OTT,” said Joe Fiveash, SVP, digital media and strategy at Raycom Media, based in Montgomery, Alabama.

“We’re deep into thinking about what else we can do, who we can partner with, what other content can we put on there because it’s looking like a great platform,” he added.

“The length of view is incredible. The number of ad opportunities in a streaming context are significant, and we’re seeing a lot more streaming usage than VOD usage, which is exciting.”

Media buyers are also interested in the possibilities that will be created by a combination of addressability and eventual (local) scale.

Sourced from Adweek; additional content by WARC staff