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Should I Advertise My Business on Cable TV or Broadcast TV?

October 8, 2010

We are often asked by our clients whether they should be spending their ad dollars on cable TV or broadcast TV. There is a simple answer. It depends on how large your geographic market area is. If you have a single location and reach a relatively small geographic area, chances are you are better off buying cable television advertising because you are able to buy a “zone.”  A zone is a portion of a larger market. The cable company can provide you with a zone map to show you the zone breakouts. Thrive Advertising puts together zone cable buys for our smaller clients because they only need their commercials to air within a small radius of their location.

However; for our larger clients, those that reach a large geographic area, we often recommend buying ads on broadcast TV. Broadcast TV does not have an option for advertisers to buy one specific area. You must buy the entire market. Broadcast TV provides advertisers with a lower cost per thousand (CPM) than cable television advertising simply because they have a much larger reach.

So what stations are broadcast you ask? Broadcast stations are ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc. Networks that are broadcasted over the air. Cable stations are the niche channels that you receive through cable companies like Comcast Spotlight. These networks include E!, TNT, Lifetime, HGTV, CNN, etc.

Curious how to get your business on the air? Call us at 425-572-0978!


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