Befuddled by the boob tube

boob-tube-2By Stephen Rhodes

While I am on traditional media, I must admit the state of the television universe is hard to fathom.

In the formative years there was so much promise. Today, in the 1,000 channel universe, I spend more time searching for something to watch than actually watching something. We are  flooded with hundreds of channels, many from the United States and, as you might expect, quality suffers.

In Canada, at least, many of these channels are subsidized through cable fees that are regulated by the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC). So we all get to pay for the idiosyncracies of others.

Telelvision is no longer a cost-effective marketing tool for advertisers unless you are Microsoft, GM (well maybe not anymore) or Coca Cola with the cash to buy time on the top-watched shows. In this economy, even the big guys are reducing their spend and looking for cost-effective ways to reach people, many of whom tuned out ages ago. The audience is too fractured now and there is significant competition from downloadable movie sites, the Internet and Social Media sites.

Even the once heralded news shows, some of them now 24/7 on cable, have been eclipsed by Internet services that can deliver breaking news in the blink of an eye to my BlackBerry wherever I am. Not so special anymore, and frankly I don’t have time to watch gavel to gavel coverage of most breaking stories.

TV’s got some thinking to do. Some serious thinking.

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