Nickelodeon will be on in the backseat, while "Grey's Anatomy" is already on in dorm rooms. But what'll happen when TV is embedded on kids' skateboards?
By all estimation, it's another TV food fight. And just like in "Animal House," maybe the way to deal with kids' food issues with TV is to have them playfully pummel their friends for every bite they take.
Being a TV digital consumer had been elective entertainment plastic surgery -- for decades, a choice about spending the right money for better access and more content. In two years, that operation will be a necessity to survive in the modern world. The digital-only TV world is on the way for receiving home signals via cable, satellite or IPTV. Without it, there will be no "American Idol," no Ion broadcast network.
No, this isn't a headline of a few years ago. This is news as of yesterday. Napster has struck a deal to allow AT&T wireless customers to download music for free, to do with what they want, for a year. This may not sound like much -- but it reflects again the issues that mostly traditional TV and film content companies are dealing with when it comes to the Internet and users "sharing" content.
Two high profile publications have asked the big question of HBO: What will it do on June 11 -- the day after "The Sopranos" will end its nine-year-old run? The truth is: HBO has already had a test run over those years, as it had the series on hiatus a number of times when David Chase was coming up with new scripts. The real question is how HBO will market its new programs.
Hollywood and other entertainment industries are rife with failures when it comes to business consortium deals. Bickering, control issues, and name-calling are always part of the postmortem when it comes to entertainment partnerships. With that background, you can't help but wonder how two mega-media companies such as NBC Universal and News Corp will make nice with each other when it comes to starting up a big-time TV programming Internet service -- while at the same time continuing to fight tooth and nail for dominance of the traditional TV airwaves.
For TV network executives, the mind is a terrible thing to waste -- especially when viewers are worn out just pushing Nielsen PeopleMeter control buttons. Now, one network, NBC, has entered the world of neurophysiology, examining viewers' brain waves, galvanic skin response and eye movements.
The show that essentially gives away houses, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," will now start giving away cars. Of course, you need to be deserving. On other shows, like "Oprah Winfrey," you needed to be lucky -- sitting in the studio audience on a particular day. It was on a Winfrey show in September 2004 that she gave all 274 members of her audience new 2005 Pontiac G-6s. Now Ford, in a somewhat more measured move, is giving away 50 new Ford Edges to deserving people on "Makeover," the king of the so-called wish-fulfillment shows.
The rear-view perspective from TV stations is that cable systems continue to take on the look of an older media business. But TV should be watching the road ahead. U.S. cable penetration fell to just over 61%, in February 2006, dropping to 68.3 million wired subscribers, the fewest since February 1990. All while "alternative delivery systems" -- ADS, as Nielsen Media Research likes to call them -- have grown, now representing almost 30% of TV consumers who pay for video delivery.
You used to need just a partisan TV ad from the "Swift Boat Veterans" to change a presidential election. Now all you need is a You Tube TV ad produced by any person with a video camera and a Mac.