Narrowcasting

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  • A specific process in broadcasting wherein programmers explicitly target niche audiences who may share demographic characteristics, values, or special interests. Where broadcasting distributes media to a wide segment of the viewing public, narrowcasting fragments that audience. In the early days of television broadcasting, the three major networks—ABC, NBC, and CBS—each hoped to reach the largest audience they could. With the proliferation of cable television in the 1980s, cable companies increased competition, causing programmers to vie for different segments of the viewing public. Single-information-category cable networks emerged, such as the Food Network, Entertainment Sports Network (ESPN), Cable News Network (CNN), or Travel Channel.

    Narrowcasting is both triggered and fostered by competition and the economics of broadcasting. It benefits advertisers, who can more efficiently market their advertisement campaigns ...

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