Newspapers: gone. Next: TV Networks.


Posted on October 5th, by Michael Rosenblum in Television. 1 Comment

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with fine cabinetry design…

End round one.

The newspaper business is finished.

Now, comes round two.  

TV Networks.

If they don’t make some really major changes really fast they are going to end up just like their old pals, the newspapers.  Out of business.

But my guess is that they will move as slowly and reluctantly as newspapers did; that is if they move at all.

The recently reported talks between Comcast and NBC Universal are just the canary in the coalmine.  Soon comes the deluge.

As Claire Atkinson reported in Broadcasting & Cable last week:

“We simply believe GE is tired of owning content and is looking to monetize a non-core asset at a time when the future of media assets appears less certain than at anytime in the past decade.”
Read that one again carefully, because it says a whole lot about where the business is going.
GE is tired of owning content.  
They’re tired of owning content because GE is a very stable company and today content creation is less stable than it has ever been and it’s going to get a whole lot more unstable in the near future.  
And why?  Because now anyone can create content.  Anyone. 
If you want to be a content creator, there is no reason in the world that you have to work for NBC.  
A few years ago, if you wanted to be a content creator, you had to work for NBC or ABC or someone who had the money to let you use their cameras, crews, lights, studios and so on.  No more.  No more. Now anyone can be a content creator.  So what, exactly, is NBC’s asset – or even reason to exist?
Hmmm.
The folks at GE are not stupid.
But what about Comcast? They want to buy NBC, apparently.
Back to Atkinson:
” Comcast is looking to prevent itself from becoming a dumb pipe, ‘in a world where any consumer can shoot HD quality video with a device that fits in the palm of your hand (flip cam), edit it for free and distribute it for free globally, Comcast’s control of your video viewing life is dissipating’.”
That last sentence is the most important, so let’s do it again in bold:
  ‘in a world where any consumer can shoot HD quality video with a device that fits in the palm of your hand (flip cam), edit it for free and distribute it for free globally, Comcast’s control of your video viewing life is dissipating’.”
Comcast does not want to be a ‘dumb pipe’. It wants to provide content.
But buying NBC, which makes content the same way it did in 1958 is not the answer.
The content is ‘out there’.  All over the place.
And if Comcast really wants to get out of the dumb pipeline business and into the content business then it should do what, ironically, NBC did in the 1930s.  For their burgeoning radio network they found the best talent they could. They didn’t buy Vaudevile!  Which is what Comcast is talking about doing now. And NBC 2009 is Vaudeville 1929.  A dying act.  
Instead, Comcast should seek out the world’s best content creators and build a 21st century digital studio embracing new talent.
For what they are about to pay for NBC, they could find and sign the most talented people in the world and give them the platform and support that they need.  
That’s where the future is.
As to where NBC is?
Talk to the folks at The Chicago Tribune or the Rocky Mountain News.







One thought on “Newspapers: gone. Next: TV Networks.

  1. I JUST heard a funny ad that made me think of you. ABC was advertising one of their new shows and the big “announcer” voice comes on and says … “Watch it … while it is happening.” LOL! Is that their response to TiVo and DVR … don’t fast forward through the commercials, watch it “live” when it’s not even a live show? Made me laugh so I had to pass it along …

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Every day Michael Rosenblum blogs about the latest developments in the world of video and the media as well as future trends in technology and equipment.



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