Commentary

Where Will New TV Programming Ideas Come From?

The future of TV seems to be -- of all places -- Chattanooga, Tenn.

Forget about your West Coast and East Coast-centric ideas. The man who gave you the Chattanooga-based Retro Television Network (RTN) -- the local digital-TV signal based TV network -- believes there is much more programming to come, at least locally anyway.

Two decades ago (when cable TV networks weren't really successful in the original programming business) syndication and other TV programmers were pleading for more time periods because the very strong business of local broadcast television was like a money-printing machine.

Now, a couple of decades too late, TV programmers get their added shelf space. But guess what? So has everyone else. In addition to local digital TV platforms, there are a plethora of other strong distribution points -- cable and the Internet, for example.

Local TV digital networks are still a work in progress. Interestingly, many are starting out as many cable networks did -- running classic old TV sitcoms and dramas, as RTN does.

Henry Lukens, the founder of RTN, believes you could have as many as 25 local and thriving digital networks per market. But other executives believe for this to happen, local digital networks would need to evolve -- drastically -- from what is currently offered over the air now.

These local digital signals need to be very different from their local mothership TV stations, or that of national cable networks.

Programmers would have to find micro-niche networks, perhaps targeting certain parts of markets/cities where viewers have specific interest. For example, one local TV group is focusing on regional high school events.

So it's really not just about TV programming ideas from  Chattanooga, the home of RTN. It's actually about developing programming from and for Portland, Ore; French Lick, Ind.; Spokane, Wash.; Dothan, Ala; Watertown, NY; Bixby, Okla; and other places.

2 comments about "Where Will New TV Programming Ideas Come From? ".
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  1. Kirsten Osolind from CHICAGO TO CORONADO, the first digi-soap opera, September 26, 2009 at 5:05 p.m.

    New television programming ideas are increasingly coming from the Internet. Undiscovered creative talents are leveraging the Internet -- producing digi-soap operas, publishing digital novels, writing blogs, distributing how-to videos, creating other unique forms of online entertainment – and cultivating large fan bases. Social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Vimeo provide everyday people with unprecedented creative freedom to distribute ideas and produce content. Smart TV executives are seeking new show ideas online – flipping the traditional entertainment distribution model. Call it Reality TV 2.0.

    Kirsten Osolind
    Creator

    CHICAGO TO CORONADO

    “the first digi-soap opera”

    www.chicagotocoronado.com

  2. vivian mabou, October 21, 2009 at 10:08 a.m.

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