By The TV Answer Man team

TV Answer Man, why will ABC and ESPN both show Monday Night Football and CNN and Max now both have live CNN on. I don’t understand what’s the point of having the same show on two channels. Is there any benefit to this? — Jason, San Jose, California.
Jason, you’re right. Simulcasting seems to be the new trend in television with ABC and ESPN next Monday (October 2) starting 10 weeks of both showing the Monday Night Football games at the same time. In addition, Max, the streaming service, yesterday started simulcasting a live feed of CNN on its app and web site. And CBS announced last month that it will simulcast the Super Bowl on Nickelodeon. (Both CBS and Nickelodeon are owned by Paramount). Is there any benefit to two sister networks/services showing the same program at the same time? Glad you asked. We have seven reasons:
1. Maximizing Viewership
One of the primary reasons for simulcasting is to maximize viewership. By airing a popular show on multiple channels simultaneously, broadcasters can reach a broader audience. This is particularly beneficial when the show in question has a significant following, as it allows more viewers to access the content without having to switch channels or miss out due to scheduling conflicts.
2. Competitive Edge
In a highly competitive industry, networks are constantly vying for viewers’ attention. Simulcasting can give a network a competitive edge by providing viewers with multiple options to watch their favorite shows. This competition can lead to improved programming quality and more innovative content as networks strive to outdo each other.

3. Advertiser Appeal
Simulcasting can be attractive to advertisers as it offers a larger audience reach. When multiple channels air the same show, advertisers can target a more diverse group of viewers, increasing the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. This can lead to higher advertising revenue for the broadcasters involved, making simulcasting financially appealing.
4. Convenience for Viewers
Viewers are the ultimate beneficiaries of simulcasting. They gain the convenience of choosing the channel that suits their preferences or schedules best. This flexibility ensures that viewers don’t have to miss their favorite shows or resort to recording or streaming services to catch up later. It also reduces the frustration of channel-hopping to find a particular program.

5. Special Events and Live Programming
Simulcasting is commonly used for special events and live programming. Events like major sports tournaments, award shows, and breaking news often receive widespread coverage across various channels. This practice ensures that viewers can access up-to-the-minute coverage, and it amplifies the shared experience of a significant cultural moment.
6. Regional Preferences
In some cases, simulcasting can cater to regional preferences and languages. Channels in different regions or countries may simulcast a show with localized dubbing or subtitles to make it more accessible to their respective audiences. This approach allows broadcasters to reach a global audience while respecting linguistic and cultural diversity.
7. Collaborative Efforts
Simulcasting can also result from collaborative efforts between networks. Partnerships between broadcasters may involve sharing content to reduce production costs or pool resources for a higher-quality production. By simulcasting jointly produced shows, networks can effectively distribute the content they have co-invested in.

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