Local OTT – The Holy Grail of IP delivered TV

One of the areas where TV provides tremendous value is ironically right in their own back yard. Local TV is one of the highest reasons why viewers haven’t really moved beyond cable. Local new, sports interests are part of the fabric of any community. In fact every now and then seeing your neighbor on TV, hopefully as a benefactor of something versus the other option (crime) is what local celebrities are all about.

So, where the opportunity for the likes of Amazon, Netflix and actually the new OTT TV start up around the corner is providing local TV.

In fact, I was talking with a major tech industry executive the other day and was told that he had cut off his cable connection and now receives all of his local programming cia a digital antenna, all 100 channels for free. And his main entertainment programming via IP/OTT. Doesn’t miss the rest.

cNet recently did an article on this exact topic and asked “are your live local channels on a streaming TV service yet?”

Well, are they? The five big live TV streamers — DirecTV Now, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV and YouTube TV — all offer some combination of ABC, CBS, Fox and/or NBC.

Yes, they are.

All five of those streaming services have continued to add local stations since they launched, but local TV streaming is still sparse in most of the country. That’s because the local stations that carry ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC are fundamentally different from nationwide channels like CNN, AMC and Nickelodeon.

In the biggest metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, all five streaming providers deliver all four of the big networks. The major exceptions are DirecTV Now and Sling TV, which don’t carry any CBS stations.

Most of the providers I’ve been told are going to continue adding local channels. I’ll start working on a chart to share as they do (check back).

So, as more and more TV viewing takes place over the Internet, live TV streaming of local channels will become increasingly important to people looking for an alternative to cable or satellite. If it hasn’t arrived in your town yet on the service of your choice, you might not have long to wait.

And with this a new, yes new, TV model will become real.