TV Networks in Demise

OfficePants

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The History finally showed something interesting recently, a nice documentary on the making of The Godfather, but instead of letting you watch the episode they interspersed it with this shit:

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And that's what the history channel has become. A network with a rare piece of interesting content, but mostly "Top Gear America", "Pawn Stars" and "Ice-road Truckers" that has no historical content.

All the other educational channels really suck now, they used to show interesting stuff but rarely do now.
 
The Federal Trade Commision has failed to enforce channel names as statements of content.
Music Television
The Learning Channel
The History Channel
Comedy Central
etc.
Misleading labeling!!!! None of the promised content is delivered! It's all shitty reality shows because they don't want to pay Allen Smithee to direct. I hate to disclose this, but about 80% of "original" cable programming is just stuff that unemployed film students and stoners send in. The networks send them a check, usually for under ten dollars, which is actually a contract buying out all episodes, rights and ownership of the series. Then, if the show really takes off, which for cable means more than one thousand viewers total, they hire their cousin and an eighth million dollar budget and a cast of four to do the remaining twelve seasons. The average operating budget for a cable station is around six hundred thousand dollars, so they can't diversify very far. As a result, most show hosts are actually paying to obtain the position. There are government subsidies and all, but 113% of your monthly cable bill goes to pro sports team owners and 10% more goes to the Church of Scientology.
 
There are government subsidies and all, but 113% of your monthly cable bill goes to pro sports team owners and 10% more goes to the Church of Scientology.

I don't think its just govt subsidies, I believe you and I pay towards subsidizing local channels, for example.
 
Yes, sports channels are a major suck. Basically, you can't pick and choose channels, so you end up paying for sports networks that you'd never dream of watching, like I give a fuck about the PAC 10 network, but here we are paying for it.

This is why the cable monopolies will eventually have to change or fail. It's really becoming rather viable to not have cable TV at all because you have access to everything you want to watch ala carte.
 
The homogeneity of cable programming is mind boggling. Why a uniquely themed channel wanders off the reservation and leaves a realtive monoploy to compete with gobs of nearly interchangeable programs is beyond me. I guess it's the fight for the lowest common denominator.
I heard some guy on the radio that made the point about how creative and unique each show was in the late sixties and early 70s on network TV. There was only one Mr. Ed or Green Acres. Somehow, it all got very derivative. One argument is that, like music, the amount of money involved leads to risk-aversion and safe, familiar choices. It's all knock-offs and no innovation.
 
The homogeneity of cable programming is mind boggling. Why a uniquely themed channel wanders off the reservation and leaves a realtive monoploy to compete with gobs of nearly interchangeable programs is beyond me. I guess it's the fight for the lowest common denominator.
I heard some guy on the radio that made the point about how creative and unique each show was in the late sixties and early 70s on network TV. There was only one Mr. Ed or Green Acres. Somehow, it all got very derivative. One argument is that, like music, the amount of money involved leads to risk-aversion and safe, familiar choices. It's all knock-offs and no innovation.

There is a weird juxtaposition of some of the best TV ever done has happened in the last decade. You're correct, it's amazing the crap being presented today, and yes its homogenized risk averse crap. Also, reality shows are very cheap to produce in comparison to a fictional series.

If the majority of the public wanted more risk taking in television, they'd produce it, but in our idiocracy this is what people want. I think the worst example of all is probably MTV. I never cared about it beyond a few years as a teen watching music videos, but seriously look at this schedule for today and tell me if anything here relates to music?? Wouldn't mind checking out Sophomore Sluts, though.

Surprise
And Then What Happened?
Taking Sides
The Bad Seed
A Very Special Episode of Awkward
Less Than Hero
The Campaign Fail
Old Jenna
Karmic Relief
Who I Want To Be
No Woman Is An Island
Listen To This
Touched By An Angel
Sophmore Sluts
 
If the majority of the public wanted more risk taking in television, they'd produce it, but in our idiocracy this is what people want.
I am not a cable programming consumer, so i may be totally wrong but aren't the quality shows generally on the premium channels that one has to opt into and pay more for? The basic channel has no need to be very alluring. The basic subscriber is in or out and generally they are paying for a bit of variety, clear reception, and likely more the internet connection than the crappy channels anyway. There is no demand for better programming, so why bother? Which is sad, because it's not like better writing and the like really costs more than doing a truly half-assed job.
 
I am not a cable programming consumer, so i may be totally wrong but aren't the quality shows generally on the premium channels that one has to opt into and pay more for? The basic channel has no need to be very alluring. The basic subscriber is in or out and generally they are paying for a bit of variety, clear reception, and likely more the internet connection than the crappy channels anyway. There is no demand for better programming, so why bother? Which is sad, because it's not like better writing and the like really costs more than doing a truly half-assed job.


Yes and no... Breaking Bad and Mad Men on AMC.
 
AMC isn't basic cable, though. The Networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox have fuck all. I think the only thing I watch on any of those channels is Shark Tank.

Edit - Also, I once watched Navy Seals on AMC. They've given up that "classics" thing a long time ago.

What do you mean? I don't pay any extra for AMC.
 
A la carte cable programming would be a lesson in price elasticity.
How much is a person willing to pay for Honey Boo Boo? How many people, and how price sensitive are they?
Replace that with quality programming and I suspect that you get much fewer people, but willing to pay much more. I suspect economists have looked into this already.
 
My objection is that they take a validly interesting and vaguely educational topic and turn it into a banal personality-driven pseudo-reality shitcom.
The build shows, the ice trucks and deep sea fishing stuff, all has valid educational focus that is ignored for a phony competition and staged acting.
 
My objection is that they take a validly interesting and vaguely educational topic and turn it into a banal personality-driven pseudo-reality shitcom.
The build shows, the ice trucks and deep sea fishing stuff, all has valid educational focus that is ignored for a phony competition and staged acting.

What do you want when everyone is fed news-o-tainment on CNN? If they can't handle the public good there, why expect a "learning" channel to teach?
 
The broadcast networks started declining after they started churning out reality/game/talent television shows year after year. That includes American Idol but I reckon it started with Who wants to be a millionaire and Survivor.

The world is a different place now. I can't imagine half the nation watching a MASH series finale, Seinfeld, Friends, ER (yes I was an NBC fan). Just look at what Nielsen ratings win an evening in a primetime slot in 2014 compared to 2004 and 1994.

And most of the broadcast television audience is over 50. The youngest demographic have an attention span of a gnat so they are quite happy watching 2 seconds of adverts on Youtube for a 30 second video.
 
The broadcast networks started declining after they started churning out reality/game/talent television shows year after year. That includes American Idol but I reckon it started with Who wants to be a millionaire and Survivor.

The world is a different place now. I can't imagine half the nation watching a MASH series finale, Seinfeld, Friends, ER (yes I was an NBC fan). Just look at what Nielsen ratings win an evening in a primetime slot in 2014 compared to 2004 and 1994.

And most of the broadcast television audience is over 50. The youngest demographic have an attention span of a gnat so they are quite happy watching 2 seconds of adverts on Youtube for a 30 second video.

Can you believe there is even a Vine-con? I mean, 6 second videos? ADD FTW.
 
It doesn't seem like HBO cares much about diversifying their distribution as long as they have a few in house cash cows:
HBO ‘trying to build addicts’ out of new demographics, CEO says

"To critics who predicted that HBO Now would cannibalize the network’s profitable base, Mr. Plepler delights in pointing out that less than 1 per cent of TV subscribers left to take up HBO Now. For the foreseeable future, he predicts, 'most of our growth is going to occur in the traditional ecosystem.'"
 

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