Is so-called Peak TV that high quality? What’s the end game here?
One thing is certain: Peak TV doesn’t refer to record-breaking levels of viewers consuming top-quality entertainment TV content. Supply and demand will out.
Several years ago, John Landgraf, chairman of FX Networks, warned too much good TV -- Peak TV, that is premium-scripted TV content -- will continue to overlooked. Landgraf says 450 to 500 shows will have to fight for its share of marketing voice. Many will lose out.
TV networks use the on-air time on their traditional TV platform -- ad-supported or otherwise -- to promote shows. But declining TV viewing is making that harder. Networks may use some of their sister networks -- broadcast, cable and otherwise -- to help with those efforts.
For a long time now, Steve Sternberg, veteran media agency/network programming analyst, in MediaPost columns and other places -- has advocated broadcast TV networks should be allowed to place TV program promos on competing channels. He believes cross-network promotion helps the overall traditional linear TV program business.
After all, TV networks take show promos from Netflix, Amazon and others. Aren’t they competitors as well?
You need only look at the lack of viewership of some of the big entertainment award shows -- like the recent “Primetime Emmy Awards” -- to see the problem. Just 6.9 million Nielsen-measure viewers watched the recent show on Fox, another all-time record low.
Blame it on several factors, including the entertainment or lack of an actual host. But consider other issues.
First, go back to the so-called peak TV theme. TV viewers have long complained they don’t have the time see all these great TV shows -- or at least know what they are about. Might TV viewers want to sample this content, perhaps via the industry’s big awards show?
Right now, there isn’t enough TV content on the Emmys -- a show that seems to be at the nexus of TV programs and promotion.
True, a three-hour awards show won’t be the only piece of an industry-wide marketing plan to support quality-scripted TV content. But it could showcase a sampling.
Remember the old yarn “viewers don’t watch networks, they watch shows”? The reality it’s worst than that: Many viewers don’t know which shows are on which networks.
All to say, the whole TV marketing exercise in keeping one’s show promotion just on its own airwaves should be abandoned. Cross-promotion is the only way forward.
If not, we’ll just keep changing the channel (and missing a lot of shows) to get one’s interest peaked.