TV Fatigue: Political Year Means Viewers Miss Good Shows

Much of 2016 was a TV fatigue heavy year -- coming in all kinds of directions.

Take any TV commercial -- seen that GEICO spot once too many times? How about one for Toyota? Or AT&T? For a long time, TV analysts have worried about commercial fatigue. Maybe you’ve also seen those ads on YouTube or Facebook?

Marketers can get ample initial “awareness” by lots of frequency when getting these results. But moving them to “engagement” -- like clicking on a display ad or going to a showroom or actually buying that brand of shampoo?  That is something else.

This past season, TV viewers have also added different kind of fatigue -- ‘outrage” fatigue, according to a guest on MSNBC recently -- courtesy of one Donald Trump. TV viewers can feel exhaustive and apathetic about endless scandals or snafus -- not exactly the kind of marketing a politician or even a President-elect might want.



All this is somewhat related to overall TV program fatigue. We still have too many good TV shows that we cannot sample  -- let alone keep current. Some 455 scripted TV shows in 2016 -- up from 433 the year before, say FX Networks.

And this doesn’t account for other kinds of programming: What about all those episodes from Bravo’s “Real Housewives of a Major-City-of-Your-Choice”? How about those U.K. English football league matches?

And shows keeps changing, scheduling-wise. Twenty-two episode-long broadcast TV series are no longer the rule. There are more 13-episode or 9-episode seasons for some series. But move fast: Blink, and they are gone -- for another six months, nine months, or maybe an entire year.

Exhaustion also comes in locating where shows are playing -- linear TV, VOD, OTT, or otherwise. -- without spending much money to get there.  Right now, on my DirecTV video-on-demand area, I can only get the second season -- but not the first -- of USA’s “Mr. Robot.”

Even already-recorded TV shows have gone wanting. I can’t get to all of them — and I’m already tired. Think I’ll vegged out with the nonstop 24 hour DirecTV music channel called New Age,  which, by the way, I can’t record.

Ah.. some low-concentration, consistent, always-calming TV content!

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