Television channel operating profits have varied from as high as 45-55% at MTV and Nickleodeon down to 12-18 at NBC and ABC. Why is MTV so much more profitable?
Provide a Porter Five Forces anaylsis of each type of network. Why is MTV so profitable relative to the major networks?
MTV and cable channels can have higher operating profits largely because they have lower costs and can reach very specific demographic groups quite easily. MTV and Nickleodeon are typically not paying high and uncertain prices for their shows. They air mainly reruns of proven shows or relatively low-cost reality shows. This means that they have more cost certainty. In addition, they have very clear target audiences where the networks do not. MTV is clearly aimed at teens and young adults while Nickleodeon is a kids' channel. Advertisers are attracted to channels with such clear demographics.
As far as Porter's five forces go, the most likely reason for the higher cable profits would have to do with brand equity and the lower propensity among buyers to substitute. These would mean that cable channels have a lower threat of new competition and a lower threat of substitute products. It is true that it is easy for a new cable channel to be created, but it is much harder for such a channel to get the name recognition and brand equity that MTV and Nickleodeon have.