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November 1999, Week 1


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"*spark - exploring electronic consciousness..." <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 4 Nov 1999 13:53:04 -0800
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Here are predictions (OK, guesses) about the future of the tube:

1. Over-the-air commercial television broadcasting, as we know it, is coming
to a fast and certain death. If you don't believe it, just look at the
continuing trend of rapidly declining network viewership. A few weeks after
the start of the current TV season, the New York Times reported network
viewer totals this season down about 5.75 million, or about nine percent
below last season. The audience is going elsewhere. (See #10 below to find
out where.)

2. Despite vehement denials to the contrary, the network-affiliate
television broadcasting system, as we know it, will soon end. It has served
its usefulness and is now obsolete. ABC chief Robert Iger broached the
subject delicately at NAB '98., the largest annual meeting of the nation's
broadcasters. Other network executives have followed his lead in recent
months. The operative phrase is: "multiple revenue streams." All the
networks want a greater return as they produce increasingly expensive shows.
They want to sell their premium programs to other media outlets such as
cable, satellite and home video. When the networks start demanding income
from all of the big three revenue sources -- advertising, subscriptions and
transactions -- the old distribution alliances will crumble.

3. Television stations will become independent programmers for their
community viewing audience. The day will come soon when a network tells its
affiliates that it plans to sell new prime time programs to multiple
distribution outlets at once. When that happens, stations are going to
respond that they in turn will replace poorly performing network programs
with better performing syndicated fare. At this point the cohesive network
prime time lineup evaporates. Everybody then jumps into the programming fray
for themselves.

4. Viewers are going to pay for the good stuff. Only the dreck will be free.
Remember those multiple revenue streams? The premium productions of the
future will pull from all of them. You'll watch commercials, pay a
subscription fee and pay an additional transactional fee if you want a tape
or instant rerun of a show. Free TV (if there ever was such an animal) will
not be a pretty place to be.

5-10 are available at:
by frank beacham

This article and many more are available at *spark-online...

In most urban centres people do not know the neighbours across the hall, yet
they will exchange the most intimate details of their personal lives with
strangers in Swaziland via electronic chat rooms.  In the midst of this
world there exists a place where the hangers-on, the merely somewhat
interested, and the radically involved members of cyberspace come to raise
their hackles, in a community venture called *spark-online.  *spark-online
purports to "explore the electronic consciousness.Its an e-zine dedicated to
understanding very nature of this brave new world we inhabit.  Join the fray
@ :

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