The FCC's National Broadband Plan has many optimistic and publicly uplifting goals -- and that is where things usually fall apart. Broadcasters are worried; perhaps the FCC is looking to push them aside.
Now, in a more time-shifted and more-digital TV world, we're adding more media consumers' chores to the mix -- texting, emailing, surfing and talking on the phone. And researchers say we find time for all of it.
Is everything on TV beginning to look the same? In any genre, it's now kind of hard to tell shows apart: dramatic medical shows, crime procedurals, reality shows, singing and dancing competition shows. At least this is what Writers Guild West President and veteran television producer John Wells ("ER," "The West Wing," "Southland") believes has happened, all due to media consolidation, which has led to "homogenized content."
n the vast entertainment landscape, consumers should be able to get their entertainment options in all formats. But when it comes to the Oscar-award-winning "The Hurt Locker, theater owners have made sort of an old-time stand. It's based on the fact the movie has already been in DVD release since January. When that happens, there is no turning back to theaters. So you can forget about the Oscar revenue effect for "Hurt Locker." The movie has been playing in 300 theaters, not anywhere near the 3,000 it could be playing in, if it were at a wider screen release from ...
The cable industry wants a review of all those retransmission rules. But it should consider that review only in the context of what their viewers really want to see. And that may lead to where the cable industry doesn't really want to go: the question of a la carte programming.
In this TV world -- unless you have an Oscars or a Super Bowl broadcast -- grabbing big masses of TV viewers with one big hit is difficult. Still, TV networks and programmers do what they can these days to make sure everyone will see their programming wares. Media companies are using a technique called "road-blocking," formerly in vogue for TV commercial messaging: running programs across all of their networks and channels.
So when do you stop thinking that high Nielsen ratings ultimately mean success? 2015? 2020? Maybe it's today. CNN seems like a perfect example of this. We all know the story of how Fox News rocketed past CNN in viewership. But we're probably not focusing on the right numbers. According to Jonathan Klein, president of CNN U.S., the network has doubled its profitability over the past four years.
The Emmys, Golden Globes, and a host of other network-centric awards programs -- ESPN, TV Land, MTV and others -- honor the best in TV, either exclusively or as part a broader effort to honor other entertainment content as well. But apparently this isn't enough. The Paley Center for Media wants to create another awards show. There's money to be made.
What's going on with all this TV pulling? Viacom has "pulled" "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" off Hulu.comm and WABC New York is threatening to "pull" its signal off Cablevision Systems Corp. Why? Everyone is itchy about now-important new revenue -- money from digital platforms or retransmission agreements.
It's always been cable versus broadcast. And now Discovery Communications and Cablevision Systems are proving it. Those two cable companies are not encumbered by any corporate parent with a conflicting broadcast network, film studio, or theme park. So it makes sense Discovery is siding with Cablevisions Systems when it comes to now old-looking must-carry rules, which compel cable systems to carry TV stations in the market for no charge. Most stations would rather get money for their wares under retransmission agreement rules.