Sharing is the calling card in the current entertainment world. People increasingly desire to share thoughts and content with friends -- almost to a fault.
Traditional television -- broadcast and cable -- is a growth business, an area where media companies can add existing programming and channels. Univision, for example, wants to start three new cable networks, one for sports, one for telenovelas, and one for news/information. For many existing media companies, launching even one new network would be a massive undertaking -- especially in this TV environment. It has been a while since any media company made such a big shelf-space announcement about new traditionally distributed TV channels.
TV is increasingly a business of specialization. Yet you might scratch your head wondering why ABC has decided to let someone other than Disney-ABC program its Saturday morning network kids block. In a continuing effort to focus on its bigger cable networks and programming areas, ABC struck a deal with Litton Entertainment to program its Saturday morning block, now called "ABC Weekend Adventure."
According to a recent report, Facebook has been looking to recruit big veteran TV sellers. No, Facebook won't be running "Glee" or "Modern Family" episodes anytime soon. It has other stuff to sell: like viewers talking about TV shows.
Netflix continues to be a game-changer. But its new business model may be a reincarnation of an older formula, at least for one area of the TV business. Long known for offering older TV and movie content, the 22 million-plus-subscriber service may now look to take away one of the big pieces of the traditional syndication business: reruns.
What's in a TV title? Intrigue, a tease, and perhaps a number. CBS seemingly puts value in the word "two," adding two programs to the likes of "Two and a Half Men": the comedy "2 Broke Girls," and mid-season drama "The 2-2". All of which could be too much for some.
Looking for something different in network television? Or just maybe more quality content? With apologies to time-shifting devices everywhere, it still comes down to finding more time periods for programming.
As the broadcast networks head boldly into another season, they should reflect back on their big mistakes -- the ones that may be hard to recover from. Think about NBC's 10 p.m. Jay Leno move and, a decade ago, ABC's over-running of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" These risks may have deepened viewer erosion for those networks, a nasty trend that has continued for over two decades, hurting networks and advertisers.
The upfront season brings the usual excitement and disappointment when it comes to new programming -- as well as new business opportunities. But TV -- in reality the most popular consumer sport -- should now consider one big improvement, an idea that TV Watch has floated in previous seasons: TV needs a commissioner.
Repeats of off-network programming -- or, more recently, off-cable-network shows -- used to be a sure thing for TV producers financially. But that may be changing. One example: Broadcasting & Cable says the HBO shows "Entourage" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" aren't cutting it in syndication and have been pulled -- a rare business flub.