New discovery: You can fast-forward through video-on-demand programming, at least on some networks. For example, I happily fast-forwarded through VOD episodes of the TBS comedy "Sullivan & Son" as well as that network's reality show "Deal With It" and talk show "Conan." Mind you, there's one caveat here: TBS did not have any paid commercials attached to these VOD offerings.
So what if we got it all wrong? Maybe more money than realized will land on traditional TV than on digital services in the future years. This isn't to discount digital advertising growth -- just to alter those crazy expectations. For some time, many TV/Internet advertising estimates have been talking up how online revenue will be larger than traditional TV advertising revenues. And in particular, digital video will be a major factor. But there are some key variables to consider.
Early morning TV at the health club had Anthony Anderson on ESPN "SportsCenter" pushing the new ABC show "Black-ish" on one TV set, and Andy Samberg on NBC's "The Today Show" for Fox's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." The sound was off. But I'm sure funny stuff bounced around nicely. More importantly, a big "Black-ish" TV logo was displayed on ESPN; and in big letters, there was Andy Samberg's name as well as a graphic for the sophomore year Fox comedy show. Just days into the new TV season, and viewers still need to be reminded about the new and old TV shows …
Critics and proponents are currently having their say about the proposed $45 billion Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. The issue for critics is that a bigger Comcast would put undue business pressure on cable networks and programming companies, large and small.
If TV advertisers don't have enough to worry about -- with more viewers avoiding commercials and increased media fragmentation, -- now there's Operation Full Disclosure from the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC sent warning letters to more than 60 companies - including 20 of the 100 largest advertisers in the country - that "failed to make adequate disclosures in their television and print ads," according to an FTC release.
It's no coincidence that Hulu announced its big TV series -- "11/22/63," a time-traveling thriller featuring the big entertainment names of producer-director J.J. Abrams and writer Stephen King -- on the day the 2014-2015 network season started. Few are afraid of going head to head with the broadcast networks these days in terms of new efforts or new series.
Can you hear that? Brakes are squealing; steering wheels are turning. TV executives are trying to get ahead of the curve -- or of accidents. A rush of newfangled Internet-connected TV services have been introduced from Sony, Dish and Verizon. Others will possibly be coming.
Legend has it that none other than Ted Turner believed the budding CATV industry in the 1970s needed a cleaner, more identifiable, name: "cable" sounded better -- and he pushed that concept. CATV (which stands for Community Antenna Television) surely would have been a harder name to say, interpret, or make its way onto a cool-looking logo. Now the cable industry's main annual conference, "The Cable Show," is getting a new name: INTX, The Internet And Television Expo. See any mention of cable in that name? I thought not. (Wonder what Ted Turner thinks now?)
Listen, NFL executives: Anheuser-Busch isn't happy. Neither are McDonald's, PepsiCo, Campbell's Soup, and Visa. A-B started the ball rolling: "We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season," said a company statement on Tuesday.
There really needs to be a new definition of a hit show -- primarily because they don't really exist anymore. Perhaps an "ok" show is... okay. .Some cable network executives say that increasingly, the goal isn't to get hit shows, but just ones that perhaps work fairly well, with a modicum of profitability -- no more; no less.