LA Times: Broadcasting Is Dead

May 27th, 2008 | By | Category: Internet TV, Video

The LA Times, of all places, says that broadcasting is dead:

Broadcasting, simply put, isn’t casting broadly anymore.

As the sweep suggests, the TV networks are losing not just their viewers but also their sense of specialness. They’re becoming just the lowest numbers on the multichannel dial, rather than the last outposts of mass culture. It’s true that this evolution has been happening for years, but this year a tipping point was reached, a Rubicon crossed. Broadcast exceptionalism — its supposed immunity from the market forces afflicting all other media — is finally dead.

And that, fellow viewers, is a huge problem for those acronymic “legacy” networks. One, it undercuts executives’ argument to advertisers that broadcast still delivers the most bang for the buck of any media (negotiations for the sale of bulk ad time next TV season are taking place right now, an inconvenient moment to be sure from the networks’ standpoint). Also, the broadcasters’ economic model, as it currently stands, is simply unsustainable compared with that of their chief competitors, cable networks.

Much of the audience is moving to cable, but many viewers are also abandoning traditional television for Internet TV. Just as some people are abandoning traditional phone lines for cell phones, some viewers are realizing that everything that the like to watch is available via the Internet.

With the audience for Internet video headed towards 1 billion viewers, it’s clear where the growth is, where advertisers are going to move their money and where the future of television is going.

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