Monday, April 08, 2013
Two more technologies have appeared to threaten network television. The networks are reacting as incumbents do. They're suing. If they can't beat the technologies, they will bury them in legal fees. From a PR perspective, it is wrong. If new technologies provide better, faster, cheaper service to customers, then one should accommodate them. However, that it is easier written than done when technologies harm one's economic model, which both are doing. It is a cliche to say that the days of network TV are past. They will never again dominate as they once did, and it is possible that one or more will disappear as viewers migrate to online and cable offerings. Like newspapers, network TV has struggled to change but has largely been unsuccessful. It still depends on the upfront buy annually to sell advertising time. It still works on gross numbers, although this is changing. Nielsen is still the ratings agency. It is a fallacy to say industries can adapt. They evolve within an understanding of their economic models but to ask them to discard the fundamental basis for business and to start over is too difficult for most. More technologies and consumer offerings will appear that will continue to erode network TV's hold. Youngsters are already listening in fascination to elders talk about a time when there were only three stations to choose from.