Bold statement, and catchy tune from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but not something I find myself considering anytime soon. Yes, I have an iPhone, laptop, iTunes and Netflix accounts which are all lousy with saved episodes/webisodes and have played a huge part in keeping me sane while traveling, but I have never entertained the idea that these secondary media platforms would eclipse catching my shows in their “same Bat-time, same Bat-channel” first run.
In our brave new world of expanding (or shrinking, with more people getting their entertainment yayas from palm-sized devices) media, it begs the question – is the basic act of sitting in a living room at a specific time and day to watch your favorite television program, the only option for half a century, dying? And what does that mean for shows now and in the future?
Considering the breadth of channel choice available on your cable or satellite provider there’s something for everyone, maybe too much for some, and growth in channel selection was just the first small step in TV program-viewing freedom. Now more than ever we’re working longer hours, involved in multiple activities and generally overscheduled that the idea of only being able to watch a show on someone else’s terms is out-dated at best, and if you’re a network exec short-sighted and cause for a pink slip at worst. DVR, my own personal blessing (or curse depending on how close it is to capacity), has become almost archaic with Hulu and network websites streaming episodes free for all immediately after they air, and freedom of choice abounds with the growing number of shows now offered on iTunes.
New media is the phrase du jour for the entertainment industry, and it has completely redefined how we approach watching television. Today you can have TV on your own terms and while I choose that big high-def screen in front of a cozy couch as my first line of attack, the convenience of online and downloadable episodes is a welcome back-up plan and recently a savior for some of my favorite shows missed because of ill-placed timeslots.
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