Recession not over for broadcasters

This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the National Bureau of Economic Research, the arbiter of the start and end dates of a recession, determined that the U.S. recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009.

These dates don’t quite match up with the reality in the broadcast industry, because 2008 was a banner year for most of the industry with the U.S. elections and the Beijing Olympics. Still, there’s no doubt that the industry has been in recession for some time, and we are now being told that it’s not over — not officially at least.

Whether you believe that the recession is over, there’s no denying that times have been tough in the broadcast industry in the past couple of years.

Broadcast technology budgets were hard hit by the global downturn, which in turn impacted the supplier community. For the past 18 months, vendor after vendor has reported that their sales are down due to the reigning-in of spending by customers. During this time technology providers have been impacted severely. Many have reported losses and have gone through painful rounds of layoffs. Some businesses have liquidated, and there has been a marked uptick in industry consolidation.

To find out how broadcast technology budgets were impacted by the recession, we asked a series of in-depth questions to a global sample of broadcast technology professionals as part of the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey.

According to our research, broadcast technology spending in EMEA held up better than in the Americas, which was hit particularly hard by the recession. Forty percent of respondents from the Americas reported that their budgets for 2010 were lower than in the previous year.

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