“I would say that it would be premature to either write the epitaph [of broadcast network television] or suggest that we’re seeing a trend,” that is a quote from Bob Iger, CEO of Walt Disney Co. He goes on to say that the lack of any new “buzzworthy” shows is what is accounting for this early season weakness. He then goes on to talk about NBC’s show “The Voice” as showing improved viewership, and then mentions ABC’s “serviceable” line-up of shows — FYI Disney owns ABC, so I don’t think we can call his comments about that networks shows as glowing.
He is right though, it is still far too early for us to be giving the traditional broadcast networks their eulogies. There are still far too many people who tune into these traditional networks for them to be officially declared dead. They are sick though, and while the illness hasn’t quite been declared terminal, the outlook sure as heck at that good.
There are many people who have already severed their cable, and satellite subscriptions, in favor of streaming content provided by companies like Netflix, Blockbuster (yes it is still around) and Hulu. While this doesn’t necessarily spell the end of traditional television shows, it doesn’t help the traditional broadcast networks either. The people who are opting for the above content providers over cable/satellite/antennae are supporting their favorite television shows, they aren’t tuning into ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, or any of the other networks; which cuts into those networks ad revenues. So the television production studios might survive, but the networks are facing a bit of a dilemma.
There are more people who are also simply getting rid of their televisions, and choosing their computers as the source of all of their news and entertainment wants and needs. Not surprisingly those who are going this route are of the younger set â€“ college students and young professionals — and I can tell you that I have met about a half dozen or so recently. So, yes Mr. Iger, broadcast television is still alive, but it isn’t getting stronger, it is getting weaker, and I dare say that its days are numbered.