Broadcasting and Programing

Steiner\'s Model

Steiner\'s model on programming preferences and broadcasting choices tries to
show how stations come to the conclusion of what programming to show. This model
goes on the assumption that broadcasters will go after the largest audience

Going on the information given about this hypothetical situation, we can predict
what each of the four stations in this market will show.

There are three distinct audience preferences. The first groups of 1200 viewers
has a first programming preference of sitcoms and a second choice of soaps. The
second group numbers 900 viewers and would pick cops first and soaps second. The
third group, 500 viewers, likes soaps first and sitcoms and their second choice.

This model says that the audience will watch their first choice first and then
the second choice, but only is their first choice is not available.

Let\'s say that the Federal Communications Commission licenses station A in their
market. Looking at the viewer preferences, station A would start to broadcast
soaps. By show soaps, it would capture a market of 2600 viewers. All viewers
would watch because soaps is their first choice or it is their second choice but
their first is not available.

The FCC then offers a license to station B. After examining the audience sizes,
stations B also starts to show soaps. By programming to this audience, it splits
the soaps market with station A and both of them have 1300 viewers.

Station B does not pick another programming because no other choice can offer
more than 1300 viewers.

When the FCC offers a license to station C, things will definitely change in
this market. Station C sees the biggest audience available is the sitcom market
with 1200 viewers.

But when station C takes that 1200 viewers from the soap audience which hold
sitcoms as their first choice, station A and B will both drop to 700 viewers.
They now have to make a decision. Both can find larger markets elsewhere.

One station, and it does not matter which one, will switch to cop shows. For
this hypothetical, station B would choose cops for 900 viewers.

Station A, who still is showing soaps, now only has 500 viewers. It does not
like that, so it starts to show sitcoms. Audience 3, with 500 viewers, now is
watching sitcoms because there are no soaps out there. Station A and C are both
showing sitcoms and are splitting a viewer audience of 1700 for 850 each.

Now that the viewers are confused about what station is showing what, the FCC
offers a fourth license to station D. After examination, station D decides to
start broadcasting sitcoms in competition with stations A and C. All three
stations have an audience share of 566. That is more than the 500 soap viewers
or splitting the 900 cops viewers with station B.

Although Steiner\'s model is not too far off what happens in today\'s television
landscape, it does have a couple of drawbacks that keeps it from being a true

Steiner does not take into consideration that some audiences are more valuable
to advertisers than others. Because advertisers want certain viewers, stations
might program to that audience to attract more advertising dollars.

Steiner also assumes that as stations go into competition with another station,
they will split the audience equally. That is not always the case. Viewers will
watch the station they believe has the better quality, even if there are two or
three stations showing the same thing.

This model does offer some insights on how stations and networks make decisions.
Just look at the TV Guide and see how many sitcoms there are on any given night.

This also shows why some minority viewers never get programming directed at them.
The stations are going to the majority audiences which have larger numbers. The
minority viewer preferences, under these model, have to have another station
before they get to see their shows, in this situation.

First Copy Costs

First copy costs in the newspaper industry are the fixed costs of owning a paper
and printing the first one.

First copy costs include the money spend on items that are necessary for the
newspaper to be printed. These fixed costs do not vary as the number of papers
increases or decreases. Because they do not vary, they are very important and
must be covered by advertising and subscriptions.

These fixed costs include the physical plant, the presses, the pressmen,
reporters, photographers, other staff members and the delivery trucks.

The interesting things about fixed costs is that you have to have them. You can
not scrimp or