The Strike, Again

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the writers' strike. Most of my colleagues already had. I tried to avoid it but couldn't. I tried to stay unbiased, which for me is hard to do. I have an opinion, and a strong one at that. So I ask the parties that be, can we get to a resolution and quick? It's boring as hell in my family room.

So my consumer hat is on for a minute. I like to wear it but can't often. I never really get to watch television programming; just tend to hear sound bytes. I'm also the type that can watch a show's repeat without having seen the first airing. But I have to say I'm now looking at my local cable provider's guide and see repeat after repeat that by now I've most likely already watched

Thank goodness my child is two and not 10. Let's face it, he can watch the same episodes of "Handy Manny," Diego, "Dora the Explorer," "Thomas and Friends" and "Sesame Street" over and over again. We can pretty much keep the channel on Noggin or Nick Jr. almost always, as he will still laugh and dance.



The on-demand movies haven't seemed to change (at least those for free) much. My online movie account is a joke. I'm the dream-time-starved person that has had the account forever, paying my monthly fee automatically, and never really requesting movies. My students all see movies online. I'm too old and can't see 'em well in that format.

Then we had football leaving us, with a week of preparation for the Super Bowl next weekend. Finally new TV, ads we've al been waiting for, passionate fans (especially us folks in Boston) coupled with sheer entertainment. But what about the following week, and the week after?

Putting my consumer hat on the shelf for a bit brings me to a confession. As a person whose livelihood depends on the digital space, my eyebrow was raised. Could we as an industry capitalize on this? Sure it may be short term, but we are not in conflict.

I diligently watched my inbox and feeds for stats showing an overall boost in Web traffic and time spent online. There was speculation among bloggers and a few pundits, but other than that, a whole lot of nothin'.

Then, voila, I stumbled across the inevitable news in an Adweek article, "Study: Strike Drives Viewers Online."

MindShare released findings of a study it conducted relative to the Hollywood writer's strike that began last November. Thank you, MindShare. In a nutshell, it's taken about three months but we are now seeing that the strike is taking a serious toll on TV viewing. Other findings include:

--"Almost half of those surveyed in the poll said they were spending more time online as a result of the repeat programming they have encountered due to the strike."

.-- "About half of those surveyed in January said the strike would 'really impact/change their TV viewing habits.'"

-- "While going online topped the list of alternative activities to watching their favorite TV shows, reading and watching pre-recorded DVDs tied as the second most-cited alternative to watching strike-affected programming."

--"Most viewers said they aren't prepared to abandon the medium over the strike. About 70 percent said they would return to watching their favorite show after the strike ends, while 28 percent said they might not or definitely would not return."

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