The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
In Our View / Comcast's 'Watchathon'


Tuning in to TV viewers

Like the invention of the universal remote control, here's a great idea that benefits people who watch television: Comcast Corp. is collaborating with more than 30 TV networks to make all of their series available for free during the last week of March through Comcast's "On Demand" feature.
More than 3,500 television episodes will be offered during the "Watchathon," said Comcast's Matt Strauss. During the promotion, even premium channels like HBO and Showtime will be free.
"We're at an inflection point in how people watch television," Strauss told the Associated Press.
It's unclear what that means, but if it means possibly giving the customer more, instead of less, with each annual rate hike, that would be a good inflection point. If it means networks and cable companies cooperating, and consumers benefiting, ditto.
Comcast's promotion, according to the Associated Press, "encourages binge viewing, where people spend hours catching up on television series they may have missed the first time around and serves as a grand look into what may be the future of TV viewing."
("Binge viewing" makes it sound as if people don't spend hours at a time in front of the TV without a promotion, but in reality we do. It just means watching episodes of the same show, or the entire series.) Regardless, the part about it being the future of TV viewing, however, should appeal to networks, advertisers, show creators, and viewers. Everyone should be "all in" for "On Demand" if "supply and demand" means anything.
Since forever, TV networks have competed by putting their best shows up against other networks' best shows, forcing viewers to choose between them. But such programming makes no sense, at least to people who do the actual TV watching. If a person likes sitcoms, for example, they are more inclined to want to watch CBS' "Big Bang Theory" and NBC's "Community." "On Demand" allows someone to do just that. It allows people to watch shows that are on past their bedtimes.
Currently, networks generally only make a few recent episodes available, but it's hard to understand why. Once a person does become hooked on a show, they do want to catch up and watch them all. And here's the beauty part for networks and advertisers: "On Demand's" "fast forward" function can be disabled so commercials and network promos remain intact. That's a good deal. More people watching more shows, and more advertising.
Networks might be encouraged to make more of their programming available if the week is successful, Comcast said.
Successful? It will be so popular Neilsen won't even be able to put a number on it. Make it permanent.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.