Ad-Supported VUit Streaming Service Ups Local TV Content

VUit, the ad-supported streaming video platform owned by Grey Television, Nov. 2 announced carriage agreements with eight local and independent TV station groups, including Hearst Television, Cox, Citadel Communications, Morris Network and News Press & Gazette, among others.

The pact adds 71 stations to the VUit platform, including TV stations in Boston; Baltimore; Orlando, Fla.; Sacramento, Calif.; and Pittsburgh.

In addition to enabling VUit to expand its selection of local TV programming, the deals afford the station groups access to increased viewership, which can translate into increased advertising revenue, according to Pat LaPlatney, co-CEO at Gray Television.

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“VUit has enabled our local stations to reach viewers with not only live news and programming relevant to them, but locally-produced on-demand content that viewers from across the country tune into,” LaPlatney said in a statement.

The executive claims AVOD viewers who download the app “stick around” to stream programming from stations all across the country. For example, VUit’s broadcast of the 2021 Iditarod Sled Dog Race from Gray TV’s Anchorage-based KTUU was viewed by consumers in 178 markets. Streaming of The Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial from Heritage Broadcasting’s Traverse City, MI-based 9&10News attracted viewers from 132 markets.

“We’re looking forward to working with these high caliber partners who create the kinds of content that in many cases appeals to viewers well beyond the local market,” said Jack Perry, CEO of Syncbak, VUit’s parent company.

Ad-Supported VUit App Claims Record Iditarod Sled Dog Race Viewership

VUit, an ad-supported streaming app, March 23 announced record viewership of its presentation of the Iditarod Sled Dog race, which was streamed nationally for free from March 7 through March 15. The channel attracted viewers from 201 designated market areas (out of 210 markets nationally), and viewers returned an average of six times to check in at different points during the race, watching an average of 25 minutes, the highest average minutes per viewer of any live curated channel on the VUit platform outside of its “NYC Live” street cam. Top markets for the Iditarod included San Francisco, Anchorage, Philadelphia, New York and Chicago.

The Iditarod is an annual long-distance race that traditionally begins in Anchorage, Alaska. Mushers and their sixteen-dog teams travel 1,000 miles, with over fifty teams from around the world competing.  This year, because of the pandemic, the race was shortened slightly to 852 miles, beginning in Willow rather than Anchorage, with 47 mushers registered.

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VUit partner station Gray Television-owned KTUU in Anchorage, in collaboration with Iditarod.com, produced the full race for the streaming service, which concluded on March 15th with veteran Iditarod musher Dallas Seavey of Talkeetna crossing the finish line first.

“This is truly one those thrilling hyperlocal competitions that fans across the nation rarely have the opportunity to watch, but given the access will,” Jack Perry, founder/CEO of Syncbak, VUit’s parent company, said in a statement.

VUit carries more than 200 local TV channels along with a range of curated feature channels across politics, sports, food, business, entertainment and culture. Overall, VUit expects to stream more than 3 million hours of live programming annually, featuring a wide range of local, regional and special interest programming produced by leading television stations from across the country, along with thousands of “VUit Originals.”

VUit is available on all major streaming platforms and devices, including mobile and desktop web, iOS and Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV, among others.