Comment 30462

By Potato (anonymous) | Posted April 24, 2009 at 13:38:28

I won't miss the network broadcasters. They are part of the matured industrial era economy that depended upon delivering mass audiences to mass advertisers to support mass production. The disappointment of it all was that the shows themselves, not just the advertising, were created to shape as much as entertain mass consumer culture. Fortunately this is being fractured into smaller and smaller areas of interest by the proliferation of media in the current information age. How to pay for this is still under development, however.

Advertisers are slowly learning how to make use of focused, targeted media to promote their goods, but many still suffer from their own industrial era woes and have not learned how to produce for increasingly individualized tastes at affordable prices, just as big broadcasters wax nostalgic about the days they shaped, rather than reflected, public opinion. True, some media have turned to combinations of audience fees, public subsidies and fundraising. But I don't see the need for additional government supported channels, and I don't see myself voluntarily paying for CTV anytime soon. If I want to see serialized drama I'd rather buy the DVDs than subsidize the entirety of network TV.

I'm looking forward though, to the growth of sports broadcasting that does not pay players hundreds of thousands of dollars to play each game. I don't begrudge them the money they get from the current system, but I don't think that's essential to good sport either. Similarly, I don't think television stars are worth hundreds of thousands per performance. The technology for recording and broadcasting these events has become far more economical too, so I think television as we know it could carry on a while yet, and perhaps even become more connected to local communities and talents without the big advertising rates that allowed national media conglomerates to buy up their smaller, community-oriented competitors in the first place. But if CTV and Global disappear I can't think of anything I'll miss, knowing something more connected to me and my interests is, and will replace them probably through the internet.

If the big American networks disappeared too then we wouldn't have the joys of reporters "embedded" in the military either. Gosh. And whither the super-bowl commercials, the great tit-slipping incident and their like? How will I survive?

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