Networks Go Boldly -- And Fearfully -- Into TV's Future

[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, AUTHOR: Brooks Barnes [email protected] & Peter Grant [email protected]]
Broadcasters are scrambling to gain a foothold as their traditional business landscape starts to crumble. Technology, from video-enabled cell phones to DVRs to the Internet, is increasingly putting content at consumers' fingertips. At the same time, it is pushing the networks away from their decades-old model of broadcasting shows for free and selling ads to make money. The result: the networks want to train consumers to think of TV shows as products that aren't free -- and make the idea of on-demand ventures more palatable. While television executives are confident that people will still be watching their programs ten years from now -- and that they can still realize big profits -- they don't know who will be delivering these shows, or with what kind of technology. For studio owners, the arrival of on-demand services and other distribution routes offers the chance to "improve returns as consumers will pay for episodes that they might have never have been able to view." Typically, studios must wait several years before they have enough episodes to sell a rerun package. But on-demand services allow studios to start generating ancillary revenue more quickly, as DVDs have begun to do. TV stations may have a problem, however. As TV companies allow consumers to watch TV shows whenever they want instead of chaining them to a weekly schedule, local stations are likely to suffer. That's because their profitable local news divisions are likely to lose viewers.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113150684331791985.html?mod=todays_us_ma...
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* How to Watch TV
[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, AUTHOR: Peter Grant [email protected] & Dionne Searcey [email protected]]
A guide on video-on-demand, DVRs, TV by cellphone, iPods and video over the Internet.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113150218439791869.html?mod=todays_us_pe...
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Networks Go Boldly -- And Fearfully -- Into TV's Future