06.21.2011 10:40 AM
Study: Local Broadcasting Adds $1.17 Trillion to Yearly GDP
BILLS WASHINGTON: Take that, spectrum vultures! Local TV and radio stations support 2.52 million jobs and add $1.17 trillion a year to the U.S. gross domestic product. This, according to a study from Woods & Poole Economics with support from BIA/Kelsey. It was commissioned by the National Association of Broadcasters as the lobby battles for preservation of its airwaves, which the Obama Administration wants for wireless broadband.

The study indicates local broadcasting accounts for 7 percent of the nation’s GDP. NAB chief Gordon Smith used the results to answer the ongoing mantra that wireless broadband will inject billions into the economy.

“Decision-makers now debating spectrum policies need to be cognizant of the millions of people and thousands of businesses reliant on the unparalleled impact of local TV and radio for economic survival,” he said.

“An Analysis of the Importance of Local Radio and Television Broadcasting to the United States Economy” calculates three levels of impact—direct, indirect and stimulative. It notes that local broadcasting employs more than 305,000 people directly and in support industries, contributing more than $59 billion annually to the GDP. TV accounts for 187,000 jobs and $30 billion; radio, 118,000 jobs and $19 billion.

The “ripple effects” of broadcast employee spending adds another $135 billion and supports 833,000 jobs, the study concluded. Advertising creates an economic stimulus amounting to $986 billion and 1.38 million jobs.

“The advertising provided by commercial local television and radio is unique in its comprehensive coverage and very low cost to consumers,” the study states. “This information increases market efficiencies and results in greater demand for well made and well priced goods and services. The additional demand contributes to aggregate economic growth.”

Researchers focused on commercial 13,077 TV and radio stations only; noncommercial stations and networks were not considered. The study is available in .pdf form at

Deborah D. McAdams

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Tue, 06-21-2011 04:19 PM Report Comment
What an incredible stretch. The ripple effect numbers are breathtaking. As if broadcasters are the only fish in the pond that can cause a ripple. Last I looked broadcasters represent a small fraction of the advertising dollars spent in the U.S. Cable has now caught up with broadcasters in up-front ad money and provides affordable advertising to many more local businesses that TV and radio (especially in the top fifty markets). Trying to associate economic activity with advertising is an even bigger stretch. A huge percentage of TV advertising is brand reenforcement, not directly trackable to buying behavior. When's the last time you saw a Beer ad and rand out to buy a six pack or a suitcase? And then there's the minor fact that nature abhors a vacuum. If there is an economic benefit to local advertising - and I believe there is - the money will shift to where it works. Anyone checked out the size of the newspaper display and classified advertising market lately? Perhaps the NAB could give us some projections on how many new jobs will be created if broadcasters are able to hold onto all of the spectrum they now occupy.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Thu, 06-23-2011 01:45 PM Report Comment
WCAI President Fred Campbell: “NAB’s attempt to link spectrum policy to the economic impact of broadcasting is an exercise in irrelevance. With incentive auction legislation, broadcasters would still have must carry rights and the spectrum they need to offer free, over-the-air services with no adverse effect on their economic impact. But without spectrum auction legislation, mobile service providers will not have the spectrum they need to offer mobile consumers the services they demand.”
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Tue, 06-21-2011 02:09 PM Report Comment
No editorializing here.... All fact.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Wed, 06-22-2011 09:50 AM Report Comment
Maybe the CEA would like to actually breakdown how the grabbing of more spectrum will create new jobs in the United States. The wireless industry and the FCC give these wild numbers of how the the auctioning of more spectrum will create jobs but never give a breakdown of the numbers. As for this crazy idea that the auctioning of spectrum will expand Internet service to under-served rural areas that don't have broadband service, that is just not happening or going to happen.. What will happen because of the National Broadband Plan, is that rural areas with little to no broadband service, will most likely lose some of the small independent Telco's that have service those communities for years, because they will lose a portion of the USF and those rural areas that receive over the air TV from larger metro areas, will lose that service, since there is no possible way to take 120 MHZ from the TV band and repack TV stations, without having them power down. Plus Canada will not make concessions on Spectrum, they just don't do that.

Thursday 11:07 AM
The Best Deconstruction of a 4K Shoot You'll Ever Read
With higher resolutions and larger HD screens, wide shots using very wide lenses can be a problem because they allow viewers to see that infinity doesn’t quite resolve into perfect sharpness.

Featured Articles
Discover TV Technology