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Tv Guide Case Study

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TV Guide has become a staple in both the magazine and infotainment industries since 1955. With a weekly circulation of 14.5 million, TV Guide is the largest magazine in the United States (McDonald, 1998). Although faced with increasing competition, the magazine still managed to increase its number of ad pages and revenue in 1993 and 1994 (1998). The competition is both with growth and technology, as well as with consumer distribution options that have become available since the Radnor, Pennsylvania company's inception.

Since TV Guide pioneered weekly regionally targeted editions and moved toward an electronic production process, there has arisen a bevy of consumer distribution alternatives. Among those include the Internet, free guides contained within Sunday newspapers and daily edition capsules, as well interactive cable menus with television listings. Competition also extends into the advertising world, where advertisers now have more magazines, as well as television alternatives, at their disposal (SAS, 2005). Despite these changes, TV Guide has continued to thrive and plans to.

The profile for television listing guide customers consists of the following geographic, demographic, and behavior factors:


Ð'* United States

o Newsstands via various retailers

o Subscriptions delivered via direct mail

o Targeted consumer Ð'- 55 million television viewers

o 119 editions

o Capital cities Ð'- 683,000

o Country areas Ð'- 220,000


Ð'* 21 million television viewers

o Hard copy

 14.5 million subscribers

o Internet

 67.9% have Internet access

 12.4% made online purchases in the past 30 days

 $53,579 is the median household income

 Average issue is opened four times per day Ð'- 28 times per week

 51% Male/49% Female readership (McDonald, 1998).

People want a variety of methods that will offer various forms of entertainment news, as well as television listings. Many do not want to pay for a weekly subscription to a magazine that gives them virtually the same information that can be obtained electronically for free. More and more people are using newer technology such as the internet and onscreen television listings to obtain their entertainment news. Cable companies offer on-screen TV listings. Prevue Networks is TV Guide's largest competitor which boasts over 41 million on-screen subscribers (1998). StarSight Telecast Inc., another of TV Guide's competitors, owned patents for interactive program guides, or I.P.G.'s for short (Kuczynski, 1999). In 1997, Starsight was bought by a company called Gemstar, which bought TV Guide two years later in 1999 (1999). This merger will help TV Guide stay competitive in a fast growing technology dominated industry.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT Analysis shows the strengths and weaknesses of TV Guide, as well as looking at its opportunities and threats.

1.1. Strengths

1.1.1. Brand recognition and brand loyalty

1.1.2. Largest magazine circulation in the United States

1.1.3. Geographically targeted editions

1.1.4. Powerful publishing technology

1.1.5. Easily accessible listings

1.1.6. iGuide enables users to tailor content to their tastes

1.1.7. TV Guide demographics attract advertisers

1.1.8. Cross-marketing ability with parent company (News Corp)

1.2. Weaknesses

1.2.1. Magazine format is dated and digest-sized

1.2.2. Production of 119 different editions increases overhead

1.2.3. Must use sophisticated database technologies

1.2.4. Program listing section is in a constant state of flux

1.3. Opportunities

1.3.1. Develop iGuide into a full-blown, full-service electronic tool Users can create personalized TV grids CineBooks offers information on 30,000 films Venue where text, sound,, and images are hyperlinked to other Web sites.

1.3.2. Develop format that will lure younger subscribers

1.3.3. Competitor's onscreen service is limited in differentiation service capability.

1.3.4. Integrate customer data across all platforms

1.4. Threats

1.4.1. PreVue Networks with over 40 million cable subscribers

1.4.2. Free channel listing services available to cable subscribers

1.4.3. StarSight Telecast Inc. more advanced and poised to branch beyond cable

1.4.4. Increased number of companies offering TV listings and entertainment news

1.4.5. Technology



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