The Death of Television
- Ver Original
- Julho 13º, 2011
With the advent of wideband Internet access on the order of 24 megabits per second in many metropolitan areas, it might signal the death of television as we know it.
Currently, Home & Garden Television – also known as HGTV – posts past episodes of its programming on its web site. Embedded in those episodes are commercials. Admittedly, the past episodes are generally one year old or older. More recent episodes are available on various paid services such as iTunes.
What HGTV has been able to do is to deliver its content via the Internet as opposed to a cable or satellite system. And, through the embedded commercials, they’ve monetized their content. No longer will content providers – whether HGTV, History Channel, ESPN, or any other channel – need to feel that they are subject to the will of the distributors.
What’s more is that the on-demand nature of content will likely mean the passing of a programming schedule. No longer would we need to “tune in” on Tuesdays at 9am for this program or that program. Content providers would simply post the episode to their web sites and an email would notify consumers that it was available. Or, in the case of iTunes or similar services, the episode would automatically download.
Beyond this, there will likely be an explosion of content. Of course, the quality will be hit or miss. But, in the same way that Justin Bieber was discovered via a You Tube video – no comments please – programming that stands out will be discovered as well.
Certainly, network news will find its way onto the streaming Internet. As network programming becomes on demand, network news will likely evolve into 24-hour formats perhaps not different from CNN’s former Headline News format. The last nail in the coffin for television as we know it will be local news.
Several forces will push local broadcasters to search for relevance. No longer will consumers need the local broadcaster for programming. No longer will consumers need the local broadcaster for network news. It will likely be local news that saves local broadcasters. What form this will take might not be any single format. The major metropolitan areas might be able to support 24-hour coverage but less dense areas might have key “broadcasts” during the day with on-demand re-broadcasts at other times. Rural over-the-air broadcasters will likely have more time before such a transition occurs.
In the end, as high bandwidth Internet extends its reach, one must ask how sustainable are the business models of DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, as well as the local broadcasters. One might only need to look at the printed newspaper industry for an answer.