Linear TV is a traditional television system where each TV schedule is delivered to an audience at a specific time via cable, satellite, or over-the-air broadcasts. The term linear describes the way viewers view the content, which is done according to a programming schedule. The viewer can only watch the program that the service provider has “lined up”.
The traditional television industry is going through changes as the increasing popularity of new ways of consuming content disrupts the market. Newer non-linear TV technology has not resulted in linear TV becoming obsolete. But linear TV continues to play a very important role, particularly when it comes to viewing events like live sports. Linear TV is still popular when it comes to live events, such as sports or live game shows where viewers can cast votes. Streaming services are fighting for a share of live sports but technical limitations such as higher latency means linear TV is still dominant in this area.
What is non-linear TV?
We defined linear TV as content consumed at a set time and on a set TV channel. Non-linear TV removes these limitations. The viewer decides what to watch and when to watch it. It is non-linear as viewers have the choice of streaming content whenever they wish. On-demand TV has been on the rise as more viewers enjoy the power of choice when consuming content.