In the beginning, there was Broadcast TV… a signal sent from a giant tower on a hill that could be received by the “rabbit ears” antenna on your TV at home. Then came Cable TV, with lots more channels being sent through a fat wire that plugs into a box next to your TV. But Broadcast and Cable couldn’t reach everywhere… especially not rural areas… and that’s when Satellite TV (as well as satellite TV advertising) came along in the 1990’s.

Satellite TV promised the best of both worlds… a signal through the air that could be received anywhere, even a valley between a couple of mountains that block the broadcast signal… plus a virtually unlimited number of channels delivered digitally like on cable. Originally, you needed a massive dish out in the back forty to receive your Satellite TV signal. Today, they’ve gotten it down to the size of an extra large pizza attached a bit more discreetly to the side of your home or apartment building.

After many providers have come and gone and merged over the years, the business has boiled down to two major companies: DirecTV, with just over 20 million subscribers; and Dish Network, with about 14 million customers. Each offers over 500 channels, including all the major networks but also lots of specialized ones, together covering every entertainment niche imaginable.

One category that used to be missing from the Satellite TV lineup: local shows produced by your city’s broadcast station, like the 11 O’Clock News. But over time, both DirecTV and DishNet have begun offering so-called “local-into-local” service in virtually all markets that allows their subscribers to see local programming like morning shows and news.

What does this all mean for advertisers? Well, Satellite TV advertising is yet another way to get your message in front of the people who are most likely to buy your product or service. And the prices are competitive because, well, they have to be for the Satellite firms to get their share of the ad revenue pie.

Like other forms of TV advertising, marketers on Satellite TV can show their ads to the whole country (national network) or just to the viewers in a particular area (local spot). You can buy individual channels, but the most cost-effective way to use Satellite TV is to run on the “bundles” or “clusters” of channels they have put together, which target groups of somewhat like-minded people. For example, the Lifestyle Cluster includes channels like HGTV, Travel, Food Network and A&E, and is aimed mostly at upscale moms.

But let’s not get too granular here. Suffice it to say that Berk Marketing can help you decide if Satellite TV should be part of your marketing mix, and how you should go about it, including writing and producing your commercial! Just give us a call at 866-747-4707 or get a fast response to an email at