Fox: For college students only
Every fall season for the last five years, broadcast networks have tried some multiplatform trick to promote their new shows. First, just the act of streaming a show at all was news, but now that’s old hat, so the nets are trying something else to get our attention.
Along those lines, Fox is making simulcasts of Fringe and Terminator available only to kids on college campuses who access the Internet using a .edu domain name. Students can watch the season-two season premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles online at www.fox.com/terminator/college on Monday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m. ET, while they can watch J.J. Abrams’ much-anticipated Fringe at www.fox.com/fringe/college on Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. ET. The sites will not only stream the shows, but they also will feature pre- and post-shows with behind-the-scenes footage, music videos and cast and producer interviews.
I don’t know – if I didn’t have the critics’ screeners of these shows I might cry age discrimination: just because I’m nearly 40 doesn’t mean I don’t want to watch a show over the Internet. Actually, it’s because I just got HDTV that I don’t want to watch shows over the Internet, but I’d still like to have the option.
What I would really like to know is what difference this will make. Will making the Web simulcasts of these shows available only to college kids really improve the ratings or the buzz? I doubt it. After these shows open on Fox and Fox.com, look for them on Hulu.com and see how they are doing there. I believe that’s a site that can make a difference for shows.