22 July 2008

Is television dying? Or is it prime-time? Or is that the soap opera?

Am I eating crow?
Did I speak too soon when I predicted the end-of-prime-time-as-we-know it?
Have I been betting too much on online video?

A new study by CBS says rumours of the television's death may be premature. It says online video is not going to kill TV.

Did video kill the radio star?
Did movies kill theatre?
Did television news kill newspapers?

Hmmm. I wish to go back to the details of my general drift during the three years that this blog has talked time and again of prime-time.
The emphasis should be on end-of-prime-time-as-we-know it

What it means is that a profusion of easy-to-launch digital TV/direct-to-home channels, online videos seen on PCs and other devices, and mobile videos streamed from a variety of sources (including blogs) will collectively erode the awesome power that 20th Century-style television had for about half-a-century.

This is what I say. Just as theatre, newspapers and radio had to re-invent themselves and undeniably lost their clout, so will television, primarily of the thousand-pound-gorilla-prime-time variety. Some of the soap serial makers like Ekta Kapoor, raised on a diet of greasy parathas and TRPs (television rating points) may wish to reach for a handkerchief, mimicking the ladies of their much-watched prime-time serials.

Now, will audio-books make reading go out of fashion? That's another story.

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