Typically, the Nielsen-measured TV network season starts the third week in September. That means we are destined for TV ratings that will be much real lower than the previous year. Those 12% to 15% viewer declines of years past will look good.
TV networks have done their best to offer up new content -- either quickly produced unscripted programming or scripted TV series that played elsewhere -- on other cable networks or in Canada.
At the same time, a lot of focus will be on sports programming. Not just with the end of the season for NBA, Major League Baseball and NHL, which will offer up higher ratings -- but the promise of the biggest viewer-yielding TV programming franchise -- the NFL -- continuing to score higher results.
At the same time, the upfront TV advertising selling period moves slowly along, which for many compounds scheduling and TV production issues.
Perhaps a hint of ongoing issues comes with executives worried about how TV production, scheduling and other issues have been operating. Or not.
When asked about at-home working and whether there are any benefits -- especially for his media company -- Reed Hastings, co-CEO of Netflix, says working from home has no positive effects.
This makes sense for media — and no doubt other industries as well — which requires a lot of live, in person-to-person interactions, especially when it comes to writing, producing and organizing TV productions.
Sounds like Hastings is saying current TV and movie content creation efficiency has gone out the window.
Still, Hastings says his workers won't have to return to the office until most have received an approved coronavirus vaccine. He also expects most people would continue to work from home one day a week even after the pandemic is over.
What about TV viewer expectations? Can they expect more altered/less-seamless produced TV content with lots more Zoom-boxes? If so, this TV season will be one uncomfortable looking moment we might like to forget.
Should we still be calling it “premium” video?