TV isn’t dead, but the broadcast model is in trouble

November 28, 2006

Michael Arrington writes at TechCrunch that he believes TV is dead. I don’t agree. I do believe that traditional broadcast TV is in trouble, maybe not nearly as much as radio at the moment (that’s another post, but radio is dying a whole lot faster), but it is in trouble none the less, but I think Mike confuses the B2C model with the actual box itself. TV is not only alive, take a walk into any large electronics retailer (Best Buy in the US, Harvey Norman in Australia) and watch the big screen LCD’s and Plasma’s walk out the door…TV is booming. What we do with the TV on the other hand is changing. OK, so the idea of a computer attached to a TV hasn’t take off in a huge way, but I think that’s more representative of broadband still not being quick enough (note, I have an XP MCE box)…and yet PVR’s, which are essentially computers anyway (a lot of them run Linux) continue to grow in consumption. HDTV, at least in countries like the UK and Australia which have essentially mandated their introduction, is now not only widespread in terms of availability, but it continues to grow also in terms of marketplace awareness and acceptance. So people are watching less broadcast TV…we all know that as a fact that’s a given, but they are still using TV’s, to watch DVD’s, record TV’s, playing Playstations and Xboxes….TV is more alive and kicking than ever before. The smart operators in broadcast will continue to look at ways of tweaking their business models to better cater for services like VOD…Foxtel in Australia for example offers this service now. Will TV look anything like it does today in 5 or 10 years time? No, but we’re all still going to have one, and we’re all still going to be using it.

2 responses to TV isn’t dead, but the broadcast model is in trouble

  1. TV is far from dead – that’s way too simplistic on Michael’s part. The BBC survey (which techdigest also covered) suggests that most people surveyed don’t view online videos, and have no intention of doing so in the next 12 months. Only of those who do did some say they watched less TV. Not sure about the broadband example – we haven’t watched any less TV as a result of getting TV or IPTV, in fact I often have TV running on my computer whilst I work so in some ways I watch more (though I don’t always pay full attention to it)

    The physical TV itself will only grow in its versatility (IMO) – though I’m sure Michael doesn’t mean the actual box on the wall. TV in the UK is still very much alive, but broadcasters need to adapt to new technology as it arrives. Indeed they are – for example, the main terrestrial broadcasters all have plans to make their back and current catalogue of programmes available online.

    The method of content delivery may change (IPTV, for example) but people still like sitting down in front of the big screen and watching a movie – however it’s delivered.

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