Just a couple of weeks away from the period where broadcast networks bump and grind into another for the fall season, they'll also be wondering again where TV ratings might land. Wonder? Actually, it's more about unrealistic hope -- because of the likelihood the nets will fail again to produce more gross ratings points than they give up.
Binge TV viewing -- yesterday's marvel giving consumers exactly what they want -- may turn out to an albatross for some. Netflix, for one, has had success touting binge viewing. Its customers can be found viewing all 13 episodes of its original series "House of Cards" in one weekend. But binge viewing doesn't help Netflix's long-term business plan, because the same viewers will be looking for something new next weekend. Can Netflix keep up that kind of production pace? Of course not.
How to resurrect a TV career to all-knowing TV viewers? That's a hurdle for ESPN with Keith Olbermann, the longtime sportscaster and newscaster, most recently with Current after a long stint at MSNBC. Olbermann has had a very public history of being an on-air commentator who is brilliant but difficult to work with -- resulting in ESPN's need to acknowledge this in an on-air promo for "Olbermann," his new 11 p.m. weekday late night show on ESPN2, which started this week.
Do big sports franchises have some say over how their TV networks view them? The New York Times says the NFL put pressure on ESPN to abandon a co-production title on a PBS "Frontline" special report about the health of NFL players.
Despite what may be ongoing prevalent thinking, not everyone knows how to produce real quality TV shows. Who does that kind of work? The best TV creative minds, of course. Now go figure out how to get them. What's preventing more quality work is feeble-minded TV executives.
Decades ago, business executives might have worried that automation would replace them, that a machine or computer could handle their skills or their business. For some, that threat never completely surfaced. Yet we are still plagued with the vision of more machines coming our way.
Google is still the 500-pound gorilla in many areas of the digital media world. Its video platform YouTube still generates huge numbers of video users and time spent. But when it comes to critical new original TV programming, Google is still well behind other players.
Cable news channels spark a lot of debate about their opinionated -- or, some would say, biased -- commentaries. Al Jazeera America has now joined the fray. But even before it went on the air, there was talk of bias against the channel from advertisers and cable operators.
Viewers are always in a hurry, so they want their programming in shorthand. Take sports. While big-time live football, baseball and basketball drive sports-targeted networks, highlights are the bread-and-butter stuff that feeds viewers' appetites in between the high-profile live viewing.
Looking for TV viewers with a net worth of $1 million or an annual individual income of $200,000? Rich people still watch TV, I hear. But on really, really big TV screens -- like the size of your floor-to-ceiling living room wall.