Saturday, March 6, 2010

Too Many Reservations

RW brings up:
"Why is cable TV basically 600 channels of total shit I have to pay for when I remember there being five channels of free stuff that was a hundred times better? And does the fact I pay for the service now mean I am a complete idiot?"

This problem is layers deep, but there is one layer I do understand, and was explained by the morning drive host on KFI, 640am, Los Angeles. The host: Bill Handel.

All broadcasting, television and radio, survives not just on the viewership-sponsorship relation, but on the over all economic pie.
With the economy down, there are far fewer advertising dollars chasing ever more expanding broadcast minutes. How many ads for new cars do you hear on the radio any more? Or television, for that matter? Those are high dollar items that provided high dollar revenue for broadcasters. Now, they are gone.

With loss of revenue streams comes the loss of the product quality, which is used to generate an increasing revenue stream. It's a vicious circle. Talk radio has been shedding local hosts coast to coast, and filling the time slots with syndicated hosts, who are cheaper to contract.

Television is much the same. We have more channels, chasing fewer dollars. Back when there was only five channels, Ford could run ads on all of them, pay the money, which in turn was plowed into product that competed with the other four channels.

With every channel offering a diluted-by-sheer-numbers potential audience, revenue is further decreased. As a result, we get to watch originally cool shows, like Anthony Bourdain, rerun so many times we get sick of them.

There are 600 frikkin channels! And whatever is on, we've seen twenty-three times already. And there is no end in sight to our collective suffering. It's an agony of riches we only dreamed of when we were kids.

The 'good stuff' isn't free anymore because 'good stuff' is not there anymore. And it was never free. It was free for us, yeah, but was paid for by somebody else. Now, nobody is paying for anything for us, so we get to pay for the shit all by ourselves.

We could stop paying, but then we'd miss out on the 47th showing of 'No Reservations, Iceland."
And we won't let that happen, will we?

They call it the 'Boob Tube' for a reason. We are all guilty as monthly charged.


RW said...

I am paying a monthly fee to watch Anthony Bourdain a handful of times a year (anybody who was one of Richard Hell's original fans deserves to be watched), football I used to get for free, and the occasional science or history show on PBS (HistoryChannel is shit anymore - alien Templars and ghosts in your pharoahs crap) I'd get whether I was a donor to PBS or not (I'm not).

You forgot the answer to the last question... that would be a YES.

Gino said...

i was a major fan of THC. but yeah, it's crap now.
i ask why they dont just replay some of those shows from 5-10 yrs ago that we havent seen in 5-10 yrs.. i know they gotta be sitting in a can somewhere.

my ony answer is that THC doesnt own them, and cant afford to pay for the rights to air them. at least not until revenue picks up again.

Gino said...

lats question: i answered it in my last line of the post.
re: 'boob tube'. :)

RW said...

oh... lol then...

RW said...

did you see Bourdain's show with Ted Nugent, firing off automatic rifles at shit? That was pretty cool...

tully said...

There's a solution, you know...develop more constructive habits and hobbies than television. Like Farmville, for instance...

Gino said...

rw, i saw that.

tully, mafia wars is way more fun.

Brian said...

We ditched cable three years ago and haven't missed it for even a moment. And since our TV is ancient, we don't get broadcast, either. We've done just fine with Netflix, Hulu, and the (very) occasional trip to the video store.

I never channel surf, never see a commercial (except for the little 30-second spots on Hulu), and never see anything twice unless I do it on purpose.

Best $60 a month I'm not spending.

K-Rod said...

Good for you, Brian!