Hmm (a la Colonel Casey)

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on May 4, 2009 @ 9:27 am

NBC announced its fall schedule this morning, without Chuck, but not because it’s cancelled–the final decision is delayed until May 19.

So … what do they have left to decide, given that there are no more episodes this season by which to gauge ratings? Are they seeing how many Subway footlongs we can buy between now and then?

If that’s what it took, I’d buy a footlong weekly as long as the show was on the air. Sure. But that being the case, why don’t we just go ahead and admit that with the coming of DVRs, TV has moved past the advertising model and should just go to a pay model? Most of us are paying for our channels as it is. Under a new model, you could pay for only the channels you want, or even better, pay for the shows you want–and if subscriptions to a particular show aren’t high enough, then it’s cancelled. This would be far more concrete than ratings, which don’t really measure in real numbers how big a particular show’s audience is. And if your subscription drops off, you have hard numbers on that end too and thus undeniable justification for cancellation.

Down side: Not much wiggle room to try to improve the show if your subscribers drop off–because if they’ve dropped off, they won’t see the improvement and thus be enticed to come back. Other drawbacks I’m missing? Aside from the mechanics of making your box show only the shows you subscribe to rather than a series of channels?


  1. I suspect the model you’re describing is already being implemented to some degree as networks have (finally) discovered the audiences they can pull online. To go all the way I’m guessing the traditional distribution systems (cable TV, local stations, etc) will experience a lurch in their financial models (or continue to fight the changes).

    Interesting times. :)

    Comment by Allen — May 4, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  2. But online shows are free (i.e. still on the advertising model) and right now don’t air until after they’ve showed on TV.

    Definitely interesting times. I hope online shows don’t become the wave of the future, however, as I detest watching shows on my computer.

    Comment by Anwyn — May 4, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  3. I bought a footlong today; I can has Chuck now??

    Yeah, I hate watching TV online, too, but I’ve been forced to watch Chuck that way all season since it conflicts with DwtS and my Tivo isn’t friendly with DirectTV.

    Comment by Bumble — May 5, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

  4. I don’t usually know which shows to watch until you tell me, then I get them from Blockbuster and watch several seasons to catch up. If I had to subscribe, you’d have to tell me.

    And that would be all right, actually.

    But what would my husband do if deprived of surfing and “watching” several shows simultaneously?

    Our dead tree news provider demands twenty-five cents to get the weekly TV guide with your Sunday paper (delivered). This new development really rubs me the wrong way. Don’t know why I’m adding this because it has nothing to do with your post.

    Comment by lifepundit — May 12, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

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