200 Stations Jump Into New Streaming Venture

(Image credit: VUit)

With local TV ad revenue down about 30% in the second quarter, local stations are making a bid to get into streaming.

More than 200 stations owned by Gray Television, Meredith Corp., Cowles Media Co., Heritage Broadcasting Group and Morgan Murphy Media have signed up for something called VUit, which will aim to cash in on the increasingly crowed field of services offering ad supported free programming.

The approach to some degree copies what Sinclair Broadcast Group has done by creating Stirr, which offers the local news programming from its TV stations along with a range of other channels offering free content.

The stations participating in VUit have committed to produce and stream at least 12 live events a year. Those events can be sports, concerts, cultural event or news specials. It is expected to add up to 2,500 VUit originals per year.

VUit is available on iOS and Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and other streaming platforms.

The platform has been put together by Syncbak and will use Syncbak’s dynamic ad insertion technology to place commercials in the streams. 

VUit will be run by Syncbak. Gray has made an undisclosed investment in the company.

In addition to the programming from the stations, VUit will also have automated themed channels composed of content from the stations, including a channel called Politics Uncut.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.