Monday, January 01, 2007

2007: TV Moves To The Net

It became almost comical in 2006: the number of places you could catch a TV show simply exploded. "Heroes" would debut on NBC on "Mondays," then it would be re-aired on SciFi a few times beginning on Friday and you could also buy it on iTunes, watch it on (with some ads thrown in) or catch it on your DVR if you recorded it or get a friend to burn you a copy or just wait for the full season to be released on DVD before the start of season two. I suppose you could find a bootleg version on the net somewhere, but with so many easy and convenient legal ways, why would you bother? (Now if only the record and film and book industry would realize this.) MediaWeek says that the ad market for online RERUNS of network shows (shows anyone can tape on their DVR with increasing ease or watch on SciFi etc.) was about $300 million to $400 million already. That's a lot of found money and they say it will grow into $2 billion to $3 billion by 2010. That's an EXTRA $2 billion for showing a show online. Sure, the syndicated market simply has to shrink (though a show like "Heroes" would never do that well anyway, given its convoluted storyline), but with DVD and billions to be had elsewhere, who would complain? My one small prediction is that US networks will hopefully wise up to the European model and get full season DVDs out as soon as possible, rather than waiting to just a week or two before the NEXT season begins. That gives newcomers a better chance to join in and lets fans get their souvenier as soon as possible.

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