A report by IHS Markit, Boom or Bubble? The Rise of Scripted Programming, suggests that scripted programming is on the decline. It seems more likely that free-to-air TV is on the decline. The rise of paid and free online video suggests that far more time will be filled with scripted and unscripted programming in the long run. TV is benefitting from the decline in production costs, which gives the impression that scripted programming will die with broadcast television. In fact, it is more probable that broadcast TV is poised for changes while the volume of digital- and mobile-first programming continues to grow. Not a bubble, an echo.
Seven out of nine US cable groups reduced original scripted output between 2014 and 2016; HBO and AMC Networks were the only two to increase output
In contrast, online platforms – led by Netflix and Amazon – almost tripled their output of original scripted programming, with 515 new first-run hours in 2016