Real-Time Community, Big-Scale Events Still Desirable In TV World

One wonders if television can add more real-time community  -- one where people share the same video at the same time. Is there still value there?

Community viewing is still done in real time with big Super Bowl parties, Academy Award-viewing events, and with some big TV series finales ("Lost," "The Sopranos," even "Friends" have scored here). 

But in this time-shifted world, we have been told that theoretically we don't need this as much. Then again, why are we are still dying to tell someone about a certain episode they have just seen on TV?  Only to get: "Hey, don't tell me yet: I have it TiVoed and haven't seen it." 

You would think the social marketing world, with the likes of Facebook and its half-a-billion users, would have demanded some of this interaction.  

Do we want convenience at the expense of less social interaction? Or do we at times want more social interaction and community, at the expense of convenience?



Movie box office sales still climb ever higher. (But not so much from actual attendance numbers -- this trend comes more from rising ticket prices). Still, people love going to the movies, attending concerts and the like. The community is still there. 

Virtually all of sports is in real time, with the biggest franchise, the NFL, maintaining the most stable viewership over the last several years. Recently "Access Hollywood" announced plans for a spinoff, "Access Hollywood Live." 

The real-time trend is evident in other forms of recreation as well. In New York City, there's a business for people riding bikes in big tour groups who listen to the commentary and music at the same time. Business owners sense a need for real-time social interaction.

How to capture that on TV with new programming is anyone's guess. But one thing's for sure: advertising during those big events is something marketers still secretly desire, even as another part of their media plan looks to micro-target specific audiences and potential consumers. 

So for now -- whether it's live or not -- there is still plenty of value for TV's keeping it real.

2 comments about "Real-Time Community, Big-Scale Events Still Desirable In TV World".
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  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, August 23, 2010 at 2:05 p.m.

    You dance around the edge a bit - "community viewing" -but your point is well taken: big advertisers all want the same thing, safe, scalable audience reach, and events that compel us to witness them in real time pretty much define the last vestiges of this once plentiful commodity.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 23, 2010 at 3:03 p.m.

    One still can only be one place at a time. Real time attention takes real attention. And the taffy pull continues.

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