Exploding TV: The network is dead. Long live the net.

Exploding TV: The network is dead. Long live the net.

: I left this comment over at Lost Remote in an effort clarify my exploding-TV belief that the big, old networks and their programming won’t die. They’ll just be lapped:

I don’t think that network programming will die but I do think that the means of distributing it will no longer be locked into the old networks. That wouldn’t happen if all we were seeing were the advent of an alternative pipe: the internet v. cable. What we will see at the same time is the growth of alternative content that will be produced at a MUCH lower cost, FAR better targeted to niche interests (the mass market is dead; long live the mass of niches), providing, as a whole, new competition to the old networks. The old networks and their programmers and advertisers will see that they can get BETTER distribution via the new, distributed network and consumers will DEMAND to get material that way — because it puts them in control — and so we will see the hegemony of the old, centralized network start to fall away and break apart: explode.

  • Luciferous

    Exploding into pieces is only phase one. Phase two is the wild, unpredictable recombination of the pieces into new coherent wholes. You are consistantly on target with this topic. Keep at it and thanks for the effort.

  • pianoman

    Consider too the nature of “broadcast” media: it is freely available to all. In parts of the country where cable isn’t distributed, broadcast television is still the only game in town. As a result, these broadcasters are trapped — they can’t abandon the old medium, but they also can’t completely embrace the new.
    I don’t think you’ll see TV exploding — you’ll just see the traditional TV outlets making their content available on the ‘net as well as via broadcast. Maybe pay-per-use torrents, or something.

  • If you think of it as something that can compete with the net or HBO for high grade entertainment, then of course, you’re wrong.
    But broadcast commerical TV is a perfectly good biz model… if you think of it as simply an advertising-funded incubator for future syndicated content.
    Friends and Seinfeld sell in how many foreign markets? 60? 100?
    I reckon they changed their biz model years ago, just never told anyone because they didn’t want their sponsors finding out.