TV Execs Are Finally Recognizing The Landscape Has Shifted

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

Honestly, it's a bit scary that this needs to be discussed at all, but after years of clearly clueless statements by television industry execs over how to deal with new technologies, there's some indication that they may be waking up to what's been happening over the last half decade or so. Following their friends in the recording and movie industries, TV execs have leaned towards fighting new, useful technologies like TiVo and BitTorrent. However, as Adam Thierer is pointing out, execs are starting to realize they need to embrace new technologies, embrace what consumers want, and embrace the fact that TV is no longer the main way people consume media. Of course, some still don't get it -- and some who are starting to recognize this will stumble around for a while making bad decisions. But, the simple fact that some TV execs are finally recognizing what's happening is at least a step in the right direction.

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  • identicon
    Mousky, 17 Aug 2005 @ 4:38am

    No Subject Given

    American network TV will never get it. They insist on running 2, 3 or 4 new episodes of a series followed by 1, 2 or 3 reruns. It's that stretch of reruns that has turned me off a number of shows. Why not run the show continuous and then replace it with another show? I watched each and every episode of 24 on Fox last year because it was a straight run - no reruns. What a novel idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      lar3ry, 17 Aug 2005 @ 6:06am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Why don't they air a series straight? Well, one answer is that some series don't get made on time. It takes some time to put together a "good" one hour show... heck, it takes a year or so to put together a bad 2-hour movie!
      Face it, a pilot episode is created to see if the show has potential. TV execs don't make the decision until, say, June for a fall series show. The show's producers now have to gather the talent (actors, actresses, writers, etc.), and episodes have to be written. There are rehearsals and then filming.
      A typical series runs 13 or 26 shows/season. During this season, the network execs will make suggestions about "future" episodes (which may already be in the can and thus may need to be edited).
      In addition, situtations change for people involved (an actress may get pregnant, an actor may be involved in a costly and public legal case, etc.). Of course, these are the things that insurance can cover, but insurance can only pay money--not get the episodes made!
      For these reasons, episodes may be late. If the network has nothing new to show and a time slot to fill, what other choice do they have other than reruns?
      Anyway, I just wanted to point out that reruns aren't a diabolical conspiracy. The networks don't like airing reruns during the first few months of a show because people tune out when they air for the very reason you state. If they don't have a choice, they can either air a rerun or air another show or special in that spot. Making these decisions aren't easy, since you have to satisfy advertisers (I paid $10 million to air at 9:00 on Wednesdays, and I'm not sponsoring a Scott Baio variety special!) and other concerns.
      Hope this helps.

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      • identicon
        Adam Szymczak, 17 Aug 2005 @ 10:21am

        Re: No Subject Given

        First, I never implied that it was a "diabolical conspiracy" on the part of the networks. I saw it as a stupid business decision. Second, your answer is total bullshit. If getting enough episodes is a problem, then delay broadcasting the show. Run 4 or 5 reruns from last season in September or October, then run the series straight, and then start with the reruns. Again it comes down to stupid business decisions. If HBO and other "alternative" networks can do it, why not NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox?

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  • identicon
    Charly, 17 Aug 2005 @ 6:01am

    Value?

    About the last sentence at the bottom of the article, how new technology will lead to great value: Is that even necessary? The free distribution tools p2p folks have engineered are so advanced that distribution costs are effectively ZERO. Even if there's hardly any value at all from harnessing new technology, the low costs of distribution combined with a massively increased market saturation of their product in new untapped audiences would more than make up for it.

    But the way the article makes it out, it's like he thinks that folks on the internet are going to start paying $20 a month for television episodes, simply because it's available, probably while trying to force DRM on us at the same time. And while that might make some money, it would be tiny compared to a business plan that publishes content via normal p2p outlets, without DRM, but with commercials encoded in them.

    Could you even imagine how many people would download it? I can, because legal high-quality video content is always highly received on the networks. And while some people might end up cutting out the commercials like they do with TiVo, most people would simply watch it, because happy customers of progressive companies always actively support said companies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Charly, 17 Aug 2005 @ 6:02am

    Value?

    About the last sentence at the bottom of the article, how new technology will lead to great value: Is that even necessary? The free distribution tools p2p folks have engineered are so advanced that distribution costs are effectively ZERO. Even if there's hardly any value at all from harnessing new technology, the low costs of distribution combined with a massively increased market saturation of their product in new untapped audiences would more than make up for it.
    But the way the article makes it out, it's like he thinks that folks on the internet are going to start paying $20 a month for television episodes, simply because it's available, probably while trying to force DRM on us at the same time. And while that might make some money, it would be tiny compared to a business plan that publishes content via normal p2p outlets, without DRM, but with commercials encoded in them.
    Could you even imagine how many people would download it? I can, because legal high-quality video content is always highly received on the networks. And while some people might end up cutting out the commercials like they do with TiVo, most people would simply watch it, because happy customers of progressive companies always actively support said companies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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