by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 18th 2008 5:30pm
The CW television network, which is the massively struggling television network that was formed when the already massively struggling The WB and UPN merged seems to have a rather bizarre way of trying to get more viewers. It's making life more annoying for them. The channel's one popular show is apparently a show called Gossip Girl, which has a bunch of online tie-ins, considering that one of the main characters is an anonymous blogger. CW has been streaming the shows online, which found a big audience, as its target market likes to consume plenty of content online. The only problem? Advertisers aren't paying as much online, so the channel has decided to stop streaming it online, telling fans to watch it on TV instead. It's not hard to understand why this will fail. First of all, they're giving fans of the show fewer options in terms of how to watch it and they're taking away the preferred option. That's not exactly a way to win fans. The fans who really like watching it online will continue to do so, of course, but now they'll do it via BitTorrent or some other system, which the CW gets no revenue from. This isn't a captive audience that we're talking about here. If the channel makes it that much harder to actually watch the content, they'll move on to other content that actually caters to what they want. It's yet another attempt to force artificial scarcity where there is none, and in this day and age, that's not going to win fans. It's going to lose them.
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