by Joseph Weisenthal

NBC May Experiment With 'Friday Night Live' On The Web

from the friday-is-the-new-saturday dept

At the moment, nobody's figured out exactly how traditional television programming is going to adapt to the internet. Simply trying to replicate the TV business model online will almost certainly be a failure, but beyond that, companies need to keep experimenting. At a recent conference, NBC Universal chief digital officer George Kliavkoff mused that perhaps the company will webcast Friday night rehearsals of Saturday Night Live. This is a pretty sharp idea, as it's easy to imagine people wanting to watch something like this, for the same reason that people buy DVDs for their extra content. Depending on your view of the current state of SNL, it could easily be more entertaining than the show itself. That's a lesson the show should have learned earlier this year, when the popularity of an online clip briefly got people talking about the show again. Of course, NBC's lawyers promptly put an end to all this free publicity. Importantly, doing something like webcasting rehearsals would be an experiment that acknowledges the potential for the internet to augment the traditional offering. It's also really interesting to note that George Kliavkoff came to the company from MLB.com, where he had similar duties. MLB.com has gone further than many media companies in using the internet to its advantage, though it's still made some really bad decisions. Who would have guessed that an organization for America's oldest pastime would become such a breeding ground for thinking about new media?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    WebTV4real, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 12:04pm

    It's about time

    It's really about time this started happening. I like what NBC is trying to do, the online supplement to Heros is pretty cool. It could be better, but I don't see anyone else offering anything similar.
    As far as MLB goes, I love the MLB.com broadcasts of teh games, it just sucks that I have to be "out of market" to be able to watch my home team on the web with a service I pay for! That's enough of my ranting.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 12:09pm

    Writers Meeting podcast

    Here's another example reported by Slate: a podcast of writers discussing potential plots of their TV show.

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

  3. identicon
    SimplyGimp, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 12:09pm

    Nice Idea...

    Now if only they made these shows WORTH watching online. Too many times I've gone to a website to watch some 'free' broadcast only to find some embedded flash video that can't be resized past 320x240 on a 21" Widescreen monitor... Not worth my time, so I still wind up downloading these shows from other sources. At least then I can watch it fullscreen without having seizures.

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

  4. identicon
    gdwntx, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 12:23pm


    SNL has been bad for so long webcasting the reahersals may be interesting enough to get me to get away from my c&c games long enough to check it out

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

  5. identicon
    Andrew, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 12:35pm

    ABC Online Broadcast System

    I think NBC should try to do something like ABC has done... yes it's all done in flash, and if basically only available for those with an internet connection greater than 1mbps. But seriously, think of streaming a full screen size quality version of a tv show. That's like getting an internet connection that can stream faster than 11mbps. Internet speeds need to increase to do full screen streaming... i can barely stream over my 802.11b network. My 802.11g network is better, but still not flawless in streaming full screen videos using iTunes.
    So, we all just need a true 10mbps internet connection and we'll be good to watch full screen streaming videos!! ABC is the best i've seen as far as free shows. Check it out here: http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing

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

  6. identicon
    C. J., Nov 30th, 2006 @ 1:04pm

    RE:Nice Idea

    Simple Guy,

    It seems to me that they are experimenting here. I can't imagine that this would be a bad thing, seeing as it comes at no cost to the viewers. Also, to address your aquiring from, more lucrative perhaps, sources: This particular broadcast isn't something that you could watch on television, or even find via other sources; it's the rehearsals from the night before.

    One last thing, concerning your embedded flash complaint. I would imagine that they would be streaming these videos, which as far as I understand, chew up a considerable amount of bandwidth when stretched across numerable viewers. The low resolution seems almost, necessary.

    Let's not abandon hope in televisions warming up to the online community; the night is still young for them.

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

  7. identicon
    Jon, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Nice Idea...

    well, anything larger than 320 x 240 would be a crazy amount of bandwidth to stream. Of course, they could off the video as a one-off download so that it's sure to only get downloaded once per user, but that's still a lot of bandwidth. Of course, they could just offer the files as torrents, but that'll never happen, because teh toruntz ar teh evile!

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

  8. identicon
    C. J., Nov 30th, 2006 @ 1:22pm

    RE:RE:Nice Idea


    Not only that, but when you stream a video, there are indefinately ads blinking all around you (unless you are smart, and use Ad-block - thanks Mozilla). If they offered it in a single download, they are losing out on potential earnings from advertisers.

    They may be innovating here, but they are nonetheless, still likely to be greedy as hell.

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

  9. identicon
    The Man, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 1:54pm

    Most Shows of all Networks online

    Being somewhat backwards, I do not yet have a DVR. So when I miss a show I would like to see, I log onto the network and watch the full episode that they offer online. I think that is a great supplement and something worth watching. Heros, Jerico, The Unit, and more are all available after the intial airing. It is great because I can watch these at work. They do have short commercial breaks, that right now only have one commercial, but that does not bother me at all. Commercials do not offend me and I do not mind sitting through them or using that time to get up and do things. Probably one of the reasons I have not got off my ass and ordered a DVR. I hope the networks continue to provide this service, even with commercials.

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

  10. identicon
    Tay Ween, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 5:18pm

    Good Idea

    I think this would be a very successful idea. The practice runs are likely to be just as if not funnier than the actual skits. Furthermore, I think it will drive more people to watch on Saturday night because short, funny skits generally get funnier upon further viewings Eventually they hit a point where it gets old, but some viral vids for me don't hit their humor peak until the 10-11th viewing.

    As an example, I remember catching "Lazy Sunday" by chance as I was turning off my ps2, and I remember thinking that it was pretty funny. It wasn't until I had it memorized that it had peaked.

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

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