January 7, 2010
|Net TV going around globe|
HOLLYWOOD, CA (RPRN) 01/07/10 — Consumers ability to view media through the platform of their choice at a time of their choosing
By Valerie Milano
— According to CBS Research data, as the public at large becomes more connected to digital media, the more engaged they become in primetime television programming.
“This data clearly show a correlation between connectivity and primetime television viewing,” said David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer for CBS Corporation. “Consumers who embrace the new media are the heaviest viewers of the top network primetime programs, and this sector of the audience is growing. By offering them new ways to connect to their favorite shows — whether it’s websites, podcasts, ringtones or other mobile features — we’ve been able to deepen the bond these fully connected viewers have with our programming. The research also illustrates that as viewers learned about the 2009 deadline for digital transmissions their attitudes towards investing in technology, like advanced home entertainment centers, to watch their favorite shows, changed radically. These findings really demonstrate the potential that broadcast networks have to further engage the public with our content as new technology expands our distribution options.”
“This has been a very exciting time for TV. I came away from CES 2009 believing television is going to be around a very long time and will be the main content driver to all these other platforms. CBS is definitely embracing the technology. We’re in an experimental time. It is unbelievable the different ideas coming out, most of which won’t work—but some will. Consumers will tell us what they want but it’s driven by content and the television platform.”
Stephen McPherson, ABC Entertainment President
“The Internet is a whole new world, and we’re learning as we go. But now that we’ve experienced it, it’s a great outlet to let things finish and give those dedicated viewers a chance to see them.”
The online availability of shows has not lowered the broadcast value of the series, McPherson said. “At this point we think it’s all additive. Where it’s going to go in three to five years I’m not sure. I still think you’re going to need the mothership of a network to drive all this stuff. And I think different shows have different applications. Lost extends its brand, through technology, around the world and on all these different platforms, whereas other shows, like a Grey’s Anatomy, maybe that’s just going to be additive viewing for people who don’t get the chance to see it on Thursday night. So I think it’s going to be a mix of what the show applications are and where the technology goes in terms of, not just dot-com, but video on demand as well.”
The popularity of YouTube has forced networks to think beyond the traditional promotional box. McPherson said: “The soap opera that had been on Ugly Betty is being used off-platform. I think it’s a question of how much of that is just for a marketing purpose to extend the brand of that show or how much of it is really going to be stuff that people are going to go look at…You have to work on the cost of it. To produce a Lost just for the Internet is not going to happen in the foreseeable future, but I think there may be a way to use the Internet as a feeding ground. Give people fifty or a hundred thousand dollars to go out there and shoot shorter segments that are good for the Internet that maybe then can migrate at some point, or at least that talent can migrate onto primetime.”
Kevin Reilly, NBC Entertainment President
NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly says the implementation of digital platforms is affecting everything, including development. “You can’t have the cart pull the horse. Our web folks have a seat at the adult’s table. It’s a daily conversation—how can we further exploit our content and change our distribution methods to best benefit the product…how do we make it an asset for the company. There are moving parts on every front. There’s not one aspect of the business that’s not being called into question. With sales now, we are trying to integrate with advertiser. You’re going to see all sorts of experimentation.”
Reilly believes that the digital landscape cements broadcast as the center. “What TV will look like,” whether it’s integrated with computer screen, on a handheld or on a large screen, “TV is going to be the main delivery system. While we have seen growth of portable devices, we also have growth of home entertainment systems. That at-home viewing experience is a huge interest for consumers. It’s hard for me to imagine a day when broadcast TV isn’t the platform where we launch our programs.”
But NBC is already looking past using the Internet as a repurposing platform. Reilly envisions a day very soon where, instead of paying a test audience to sit through pilots, networks will go online. “We have a plan cooking where we may expose some of our pilots to certain selected audiences. The Internet is going to be a very key measurement tool; perhaps the most important tool. It’s going to be evolving fast.”
Jeffrey Jolson is Hollywood Today founding editor-in-chief and a RushPRnews partner and contributor since 2006. Jeffrey, of the Al Jolson family, also founded HollywoodReporter.com and Grammy.com. Hollywood Today reporters have written for Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Forbes, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, AP, E!, Popular Science and Popular Mechanics.
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