Originally posted by sebenste
...affluent HDTV subscribers aren't as prevalent per capita as
Chicago or New York.
That's definitely true... but HDTV sales in this area have reached significant
numbers, hell even Insight has an HDTV package, and we all know how far
behind they usually are on technology matters.
Also, Rockford has long been a test market for consumer electronics retail,
and retail in general. The Rockford market has been important to the
big retail giants for many reasons.
Our first Best Buy, next to Lino's, was the VERY FIRST Best Buy in the US
that used the warehouse model and didn't have commissioned sales staff.
Also, the Media Play store was the first one ever, and the very first
standalone music/books/videos/magazines superstore for the
Musicland/Sam Goody group (which is now a division of Best Buy) that had
previously operated predominantly in mall stores to that point.
Part of the reason we get the test stores is that the corporate retailers,
resteraunteurs, etc. can operate a single test store to cover the market
and saturate the local media and appear to be a major operation.
The economy has been hammered, and advertising
revenues aren't great. That and it is VERY expensive to set up a DTV
station, much less an HDTV one. Note that a few stations have turned
in their licenses or started up as DTV stations to avoid the conversion
My point here is that they (WQRF) finally have never had a stronger
product to sell from a quality of programming standpoint.
As far as the ad market, there has been a downturn across the nation
since 2000, and markets smaller and more isolated than Rockford have
been way ahead of us in getting DTV broadcasts.
The local and regional auto dealers, mega franchise resteraunts,
retail stores, home centers, department stores, video stores, etc.
are the primary purchasers of local ad time, and they have been
expanding in the Rockford viewing area
at a significant rate.
Remember that although we are a fairly small market, the Rockford
viewing area still covers multiple communities like Dekalb/Sycamore, IL;
Freeport, IL; Belvidere, IL; Dixon, IL; Sterling/Rock Falls, IL; Beloit, WI;
Monroe, WI; Janesville, WI and dozens of other small communites in
the region that have developing retail corridors and every time another
Applebee's, Subway, Home Depot, Culver's, Panera Bread, Best Buy, etc.
opens anywhere in the region, it makes Rockford TV ads that much
more of a value to them.
These national and regional advertisers are building brand and creating
"top of mind" awareness for a greater number of locations for the
low Rockford ad rates they paid before they opened the additional locations.
The economic indicators for Rockford that show decline are tied to
manufacturing, and the affected companies, although a tragic loss
to the community, never bought any advertised to speak of.
American TV is a big part of the reason the Madison stations came on so
quickly. At one time in the 90's, they bought more TV ad time than
ANYONE else in the state of Wisconsin, including Fortune 100 companies
like Ford, GM, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc.
I know, it would have been nice to see the Super Bowl in local HD.
But at least Daytona will be seen, if all goes well, in HD, as well
as all of Fox's hottest shows.
Someday it will happen, when the corporate ownership of WQRF finally
gets the hint that there ARE people waiting for this.