Could it be…a TV network looks at the landscape and makes changes accordingly? NBC Universal, as you may have heard, decided to make some changes. The long and short of it is that they are cutting positions, streamlining and reinvesting into higher growth areas.
Now the media (which always does a great job of criticizing itself) is jumping on one aspect of the changes announced by NBC Universal. They are more concerned about the fact that NBC will make the 8pm hour more low cost by going away from scripted programs and towards reality-game show type programming than anything else that NBCU announced. The media did not focus on an eye opening statement made by NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright when he said in the Wall Street Journal, "We can’t have new digital expenses and the same analog expenses."
This is the first time I can remember that a person in a position like that has said something like that and meant it. From my own experiences, execs in TV see the digital world coming but always see rising costs and or don’t understand it so they keep doing things the way they’ve been doing it because they’re still making money on it. Besides why change? Let the next guy figure it out.
It’s beginning to look like the next guy is here.
Now look, for you diehard TV workers out there, TV is not going away. Not broadcast or cable. The fact of the matter is that HD, broadcast quality content for things such as the Super Bowl and American Idol is not going to be available LIVE to the On Demand World anytime soon so relax. However, with more and more distribution channels popping up every quarter some things like local news broadcasts, syndicated programs, and other types of programing are likely to change a great deal if not go away all together.
The On Demand World of how, when, and where you want your content is only gaining more and more speed. Not only because of technology but also because technology is changing our lives. The Global Information Economy doesn’t sleep even if you’re only talking about a small market DMA.
So stop criticizing the NBC Universal plan and applaud it. It’s not like they’re the first to say stuff like this. There’s a reason Rupert Murdoch shelled out $650 million for Myspace.com. There’s a reason CBS launching online content like Innertube. There’s a reason Disney struck a deal with Apple to be on itunes.
The digital train has left the station folks. So either find the next departure time or start walking.