Will terrestrial TV go extinct by 2050


With so many different ways to watch our favourite shows these days, the golden age of terrestrial TV is a relic of another era. However, there was a time between the 1950s and 1990s when it reigned supreme.

Then, in more prosperous nations, over 90% of the population owned television and would tune in every night to watch the latest shows. The selection before the internet was a lot smaller, and although this choice started to expand throughout the 1990s, the streaming services that are available in today’s world, in comparison, are on another planet.


Not only can you find thousands of series and movies at the click of a button, but streaming services like Netflix have even branched out into the gaming sector. The gaming industry has experienced an unbelievable growth spurt thanks to the universal adoption of smartphones and gaming consoles. For instance, the free-to-play game League Of Legends has over 30 million active daily players and is one of the world’s largest eSports markets.

The amount of League Of Legends players is somewhere in the region of 180 million, and given that there’s so much money at stake, it’s no surprise you can find multiple betting markets that cater to outright markets and individual games, such as https://thunderpick.io/en/esports/league-of-legends.

Since eSports are such a new area of the gambling market, it’s hard to predict how quickly they will grow over the next few years. However, there’s no disputing the rising popularity of online casino gaming and the rise in popularity of eSports tournaments. Therefore, logically, this should mean it generates a profitable revenue stream for casinos and eSports companies combined.

On the other hand, quantity over quality doesn’t always work, especially in TV and film, which is an art form. Some critics and commentators argue that film and TV shouldn’t be binge-watched. The reason is that shows that are much richer and deeper, like the sort of shows you often find on HBO, are much more demanding than some of the throwaway series you’ll find on Netflix.

That’s not a slight on Netflix, they have a much larger output, so some of their series are designed for binge-watching, and they will often release entire series in one go. Therefore, the consumer will watch the series avariciously and perhaps miss key bits, especially if the show or specific episode is designed for multiple viewings. Digital streaming services haven’t completely wiped out the TV industry as many people suspected they initially would. Even though the market is beginning to dwindle, there is still a big market for terrestrial television, so there’s still room for both.

This dichotomy between streaming services and terrestrial mirrors other industries that have addressed digital competition yet allowed them to flourish alongside them in the short term. The obvious contrast is between land-based and online gambling companies. When digital casinos and sports betting first came onto the scene, some physical casinos were under the impression that they would take all of their business.

Could Terrestrial Bounceback?

With multi-trillion-dollar companies like Amazon and Apple moving into the sector, the age of terrestrial TV looks like it might be at the beginning of its journey into the history books. Although the physical TV industry is still strong, given that many of their innovative features are used to host the broad scope that all of these digital streaming services cover, terrestrial TV is a market primarily comprised of people over 60.

Terrestrial TV looked like it wouldn’t have serious competition for large parts of the 20th Century. However, it’s a brave new world. Although it’s doubtful that terrestrial TV will disappear entirely before the mid-point of this Century, it’s still a possibility that many operators are weighing up and preparing for.

The Streaming Wars

Although the younger generation overwhelmingly prefers streaming services, given a few economic factors, streaming services may have peaked in short-term popularity.

If you explore the scope of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, Paramount+, and Disney+, you’re looking at a bill above $100 monthly.

Terrestrial TV is a much cheaper option, and if people are looking to cut costs during a cost-of-living crisis and financial hardship, then this could see a resurgence in the number of consumers who use terrestrial TV instead of streaming services, but this is an unlikely outcome.

Streaming services are now developing releases that would often bring in huge numbers on terrestrial networks. For example, the recent documentary about Harry and Megan generated vast global publicity for all parties concerned. Twenty years ago, this occurrence would be a massive scalp for terrestrial TV.



We’d say that for now, terrestrial TV has enough legs to stay in the race, at least until 2050. The make-or-break question is whether Gen Z can get on board with watching terrestrial TV.

Considering they’re the first generation that grew up with mobile phones, the internet, and tablets and are well-versed in using the technology, it’s unlikely there will be a mass exodus back to more antiquated media. However, there are still shows that some of the younger generations will tune in to watch on terrestrial TV.

Still, suppose the overall foundation starts heading back toward terrestrial TV as it is more economically viable for the companies and customers concerned. In that case, terrestrial TV will still be around for 100 years, most likely.

Since billions of people still own televisions and many terrestrial channels come free with the TV, it’ll remain a significant avenue for people to consume media; it’s more of a question of how much the market will shrink rather than if it will disappear completely.

Other articles from mtltimes.ca – totimes.ca – otttimes.ca

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