Looking both ways

Two interesting tidbits in the news that showcase the television industry being stuck between the past and the future.

Article in the New York Times about the ratings game the networks play:

In Networks’ Race for Ratings, Chicanery Is on the Schedule

“This is the kind of programming sleight of hand that executives seize on as they seek to gain every possible edge in the television ratings game, at a time when each tenth of a point or two enhances their standing in the nightly ratings and the ability to pitch to advertisers who spend billions of dollars a year. But these tactics are more about bragging rights than money.”

As the industry moves to direct measurement of ratings of viewing and away from the Nielsen survey style, these gimmicks will disappear, and seem laughable in hindsight.  The online industry is not immune to such silliness.  Consider the endless amount of top ten lists that require you to click ‘next’ 10 times to see the whole article, simply to increase the number of page views.

Article in Variety discussing News Corp President Chase Carey’s take on TV Everywhere:

Chase Carey: Not impressed with TV Everywhere

“Carey didn’t mince words on how badly he believes cable, satellite and telcos have botched extending program viewing to digital platforms at no extra charge to subscribers who access content via authentication.”

The major cable and satellite distributors are counting on TV Everywhere to help reign in the proliferation of free content on the web and maintain the perceived value of subscriptions.  Many inside the studios like the idea of TV Everywhere because it basically creates a whole new product they can sell or barter with in negotiations with the distributors. Carey’s words are very much in line with the consumer research that show TV Everywhere as frustrating to viewers looking to replicate a simple television experience on a computer or iPad.