Mar 9, 2009

TV Everywhere Is A Bad Idea

Despite what the media tries to tell you, television isn't afraid of the internet.

They're not.

The thing is folks who pretty much own television are ABANDONING it at a spiraling rate. They're abandoning over-the-air television, which is why the broadcast networks have no plans for the digital spectrum they're being awarded.

The whole TV Everywhere is a moronic one at best. Yeah, they could put shows on something like Hulu or YouTube, but people with dial-up access (they're still around, you know) aren't going to watch those programs on those services. They're going to watch them on TELEVISION!

The people who are going to sit down and watch those cable shows on the internet are likely going to have broadband, which means that 9/10 of them are already subscribed to a cable/satellite/fiber-optics service in the first place, meaning whatever profit they hope to make will be a minute profit at best, unless the plan is for the users to prove that they're a cable subscriber and then pay-per-click afterwards if they are. And the consumer market won't sit for that.

When cable consumers have access to tech like video-on-demand and DVR, the need for pay-per-click cable programs online seems not only redundant but borderline idiotic, which is probably no surprise considering that Time Warner, the most poorly-ran entertainment company on the planet, is behind the TV Everywhere endeavor.

Time Warner needs the internet revenue it lost once America On-Line lost its relevance at the turn of the century thanks to wider broadband, and freer endeavors like in2TV, The WB, and Kids' WB aren't really bringing in the money it wants from ads alone. Of course, it would help to actually advertise that they exist across the traditional broadcast outlets. Obviously another Turner edict, "Work like hell and advertise," is one lost of the idiot class lining their pockets at the company greed built and arrogance destroyed.


Sean DL said...

TV Everywhere is Bad? Well, it's better then no TV at all.

That is what was left before youtube took off.

TV was dying when Friends enter it's tenth season.

It was dying when reality TV took over and American Idol became the thing that made Fox not #4.

It died when Cable shows made it to the top great shows of all time list.

It died when Adult Swim and DVD sales is the reason why Family Guy is back on Fox, hell it died when DVD sales rose to 90% marketshare.

Over the air TV is buried when they switch to digital broadcasting.

People with dial-up access are the same people who kill off great shows on TV because they don't watch it in the first place!

They make up 80% of the 46.9 million American Idol gets every season.

And take into fact that this recession is killing tradition broadcast outlets revenue, it is time that TV evolve or die.

And right now I with a generation the size of the baby boomers about to transition into the main role of America who watch more shows online then on broadcast television...Why not move on?

So Tv everywhere? I'm for it, becasue as soon as they take account in those numbers over any Nelson ratings in to decide to keep a show or put on three more hours of American Idol on over the air TV because it'll do 20 million then put on a great show that only get 6.0 million views the world will be a better place....

Jeff Harris said...

Okay, but here's the thing.

The problem with TV Everywhere is in the execution. TV Everywhere will exist largely to make some semblance of a profit even though they still don't know how they're going to. I mean, the whole purpose is to put pay-per-click videos from their library of shows, particularly their cable ventures, by demanding proof that you actually do subscribe to their services. Like I said, 9/10 people that will use the service will likely be subscribers of cable/satellite/fiber-optic services, meaning the proof comes from the IP addresses.

I'm not saying that they shouldn't do TV Everywhere, but the whole business model behind TV Everywhere is flawed and egotistical, meaning Time Warner is developing a system other studios can use and they'll get all the profit from those other companies using it. And though it's still called TV Everywhere, you're still going to be handcuffed to Big Cable paying huge fees for the privilege to watch cable programs on the go.

Plus, there will be those who will circumvent the system. It happens.

Television isn't going anywhere, and it'll be moronic to think otherwise. In about a decade, perhaps the number of online viewers will be larger than over-the-air viewers, but I think in the end, both will co-exist.

One of the many reasons the digital transition is a joke is because broadcasters and studios don't know how to program them, and they refuse to even try. There's so much potential, it's not even funny.

Here's a suggestion. If the networks want to profit, perhaps they should consider a Top-Up-TV-like model, which involves a monthly fee and combine it with a mobile/broadband component that allows you to access across all media options, plus, there's a always room for expansion. It's a good use of some of the "white space" coming soon.

It's a hell of a better plan than TV Everywhere.

E.A. said...

I'm with Jeff.

There needs to be a solid business model behind the "TV Everywhere" concept, and one that does not ignore such fundamentals like viewership logistics and advertiser concerns like marketing subversion (i.e. hacking the digital pipes responsible for providing ad content during a popular program with the intent to avoid watching ads, as some software toolbar programs activated in some major browsers allow you to do while you're surfing for shows on major content providing websites like and joost.