Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More on Jericho

According to this article Jericho's continued presence on our TVs next year depends on people watching it. Live. No recording. No DVR. No download, regardless of whether it's legal, or if you pay good money to download.

"Nina Tassler, the president of CBS Entertainment, told the New York Times that if fans want the show to live, they need to watch the broadcast because that's how the money gets made. Stressing that live viewing is 'of primary importance,' Tassler said that 'We want them to watch on Wednesday at 8 o'clock... and we need them to recruit new viewers who are going to watch the broadcast.'"

My opinion? This is unbelievably short-sighted on the part of the network. According to next week's TV Guide, "Jericho was the second most popular CBS program on iTunes and online after CSI, and got an 8 percent ratings boost from people who recorded it." Basically, CBS is saying that viewers need to watch the show the way they want the viewers to watch it, or the ratings don't count.

The landscape is changing, folks. The networks need to change with it. Stamping their feet indignantly and demanding that everyone watch shows live instead of recording them is just not a viable business model. The Neilsen ratings have been obsolete for quite some time now, but the networks still cling to them. Networks and advertisers need to work out new ways to capture the viewers' attention. What CBS is saying in regards to Jericho is not it. Kudos to them for the renewal, which may have been prompted by download numbers, but opposite of kudos (whatever that is) to them for insisting on live viewage instead of trying to get a little creative.