Bye bye TV the new lords of TV


For an industry marked out for its pursuit of the new, can traditional broadcast and channel TV fail to see it's no longer at the's waaaaaaay past them. Netflix and others like Amazon have clearly demonstrated we like to consume our content at our own speed, not spoon fed episodes once a week. Does anyone have a show that's an appointment to view anymore? No, you just record it on your PVR and when you have half a dozen or so you sit down with a drink and a bucket of ice cream and off you go.

...and another thing

Yet it seems even the smartest fail to accept the basic fact.

What was Sky UK thinking when it decided to broadcast the latest 24 once a week? They are some of the sharpest business people in broadcasting. Maybe the first episode should have been free with the next episodes all available as Sky Pay On Demand or Movies in one dollop? The genie is out of the bottle. (God I wish I could have Sky in Malta though!)

Even these new companies like Netflix are not the future. The new Gods have yet to arrive but they are surely coming. Your electronic personal show selector.

I spend far too long now sifting across cable satellite, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. trying to find what I want. I bet you all do the same thing as well. A chunk of my viewing is trying to find the golden programme needle in the electronic haystack!

Modern TV with its endless channels and shows on them resembles a kitchen not a restaurant. Lists of shows are like being told the entire ingredients in the kitchen, yet I have to work out a recipe and choose what I want to eat. In fact what I really want is a short menu of things I like.

So how would you like to come home, turn on your TV and just say ‘Bourne Identity’ if you are in the mood for that kind of movie? With the correct algorithms taken from your viewing habits over the past few years (believe me it’s available) your voice activated TV suggests a maximum of five movies you’ve never heard of let alone seen… and for good measure says you also love Bond movies and you have not watched Goldfinger for seven years. Six choices.

And you know what? The damned machine is right. All six are great. What will you pay for that? $2 a month? You can dump all those streamed channels coz this new friend is only ever going to spoon feed you your favourites or unknown (to you) gems.

That aggregation/filtering company will rule TV. You don’t even need commissioning editors anymore. That algorithm can tell a Producer on a global basis how many customers will watch his show. He can bank that.

And when that worldwide audience of tens of millions turns away from its various local packages to a global digital pond of rights, the price of those pay per views is going to collapse. Not $4.99 a movie, more like $0.49.

But there are going to be heavy casualties. Along with the old fashioned channels, the values of TV libraries that for years were as bankable as a penthouse in Manhattan, will evaporate. When you had TV channels running stuff 24 hours a day you needed that filler between the new shows; old Battlestar Gallictica, Hart to Hart or even Dallas. But no one is going to watch that anymore.  We won’t watch those shows whilst we wait for our favourite to start. Bang! They have no value.

...and another thing

Sadly I worry this Brave New World may not be able to recognise real creative originality. I doubt any algorithm would have said,

 “Yeah, a teacher with lung cancer teams up with a loser to make grade A meth amphetamine…That’s going to get a sure fire audience” and so there would have been no Breaking Bad.

 But take heart. The few terrestrial broadcasters left may take up that challenge as mainstream passes over to your new electronic friend and they are forced to become more adventurous.

Next week, back to lighter stuff, but according to the data collected on this website, this blog will still be read by 63.47575% …..! Big brother is not only watching. It will be telling you what to watch.

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