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Forgive Me For Stating The Obvious About Yesterday's News From NBC

Posted by: Jon Fine on October 20, 2006

Yesterday’s news that NBC will stop doing scripted shows at 8 PM and slash news operations is the clearest admission that the network television model is broken.

And this supersedes existing perversities in how TV still holds onto its share of the ad pie remarkably well, considering its declining ratings, or that key ad segments remain unduly smitten with TV. One of the Big Three nets just admitted that the math no longer works.

Wonder how next year’s network upfronts will go.

Reader Comments

Mike Reardon

October 23, 2006 2:53 PM

It is a late band aid. I would say the Networks control of content to local tv markets is broken by direct delivery of content on the web, and the same for Cables control to local tv markets. The Networks now are only one more direct content delivery service. Share is all that matters if you are Sony, NBC, or Half Life. Google and search get first value in connecting you to what you want, and Networks now need 24/7 content and marketing share.


October 23, 2006 5:13 PM

You are 100 percent correct.
This is the beginning of the newspaperization of network TV.
There is no point trying to fix the model. It will be changed over time the same way the newspaper model is changing.
There will be more cost cutting, retrenchment, agonizing, suffering and handwringing.
But it's coming and nothing can stop it.
Last week, I did a totally unscientific study of 40 junior high students. 30 of them go to google before they check tv, radio or newspapers.
Those numbers aren't going to get better for tv or anyone else. The audience has split like an atom inside a bomb.

Ken Convoy

October 26, 2006 6:09 PM

Believe it or not, and this is all supported by e-mails from senior NBC executives, NBC chose to fail because, paradoxically, it is in management's best financial interests to do so. They know they are wasting billions of dollars worth of the stockholders' resources and how to switch them into ratings-and-revenue-increasing investments; they know how to turn the network around; and they know how to adapt this to their other content-delivery systems and make their studio the dominant content provider.

But, and this is what is hard for people to understand, under certain conditions succeeding runs counter to the agendas and goals of its management team.

The reality is the TV industry is a fraud, and this applies equally to CBS, Time-Warner, etc.; its perpetuators are management, and its victims are stockholders.

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