Friday, November 15, 2013

Sports helping shape the future of TV - by Gren Blackall, Gorham Savings Bank

Why does the National Football League generate the most advertising revenue? It’s not just because a lot of people watch it, it’s because a lot of people watch it live. 

A lot of network TV shows today are recorded and played back later by viewers, where advertisers lose control. It’s likely most people fast forward over them.

But people watch sports when it airs, because no one wants to watch a re-run of a game if they know who won, and unless you live in a cave, you can’t avoid someone spoiling it.

Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, if you liked Gilligan’s Island or Perry Mason, you had to sit down and watch when they aired, and were forced to sit through all the advertisements. Those days are gone.

What’s the future of TV? TV producers will put out more programming and advertising you have to watch live. There are only so many sports, and not everyone likes watching them anyway. Here are some ways the Networks will try to keep you in front of the “tube.”

1)    Special deals NOW! Advertisers have been lying to us for decades when they say, “Call in the next 10 minutes and you’ll get a special deal!” People know in reality they can call any time. But in the future, those time sensitive offers will be real.  This puts a monetary value to watching live.

2)    More contests with audience participation. American Idol not only put out a good show, but they also started a trend where people have to watch live if they want to vote. Genius. There will be a lot more of that.
3)    More Twitter and social media interaction. TV producers are playing up the connection to social media to get people to communicate with all the other viewers during the airing of the show. This will blossom into full blown Twitter events with cast and crew tweeting with the crowd.

For things that are not time sensitive? If you can’t beat it, join it. TV networks will be tempted to push those to a pay-TV model. The money they get from subscribers is just as green as the money they get from advertisers, even if the advertisers get cut out of the middle.

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