Editorial: Testing, Testing - Broadcasting & Cable

Editorial: Testing, Testing

Broadcasters right to be concerned of NBC’s ‘Aquarius’ plan
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Broadcasters are right to be concerned about the incentive auction, and to continue keeping the FCC’s feet to the fi re to make sure they’re not being sacrificed on the altar of wireless broadband.

Ultimately, broadcasters want the FCC to take care of those who choose not to participate, and those who do.

And it won’t matter how well the TV signals are relayed and interference protections are preserved if there’s not compelling content and a business model that meets the expectations of the anything- you-want-at-any-time media consumer. That is another kind of incentive.

The upfront presentations are an important gauge of whether programmers are aiming ahead of or behind that target audience.

We shared the initial concern of NBC affiliates about the dawning of a new age of Aquarius—NBC’s plan to release online all episodes of the new series on its premiere date of May 28.

Obviously, binge-watching is a new normal for pure-play, over-the-top players such as Netflix; it is harder to see the upside for stations whose buzz could be blown in one sitting. But broadcasters can’t be blamed for experimenting, only for doing so at the expense of the gals that brung ’em. NBC says it’s only a test, and presumably if it disserves its TV station partners, it should not be repeated.

American Idol will be exiting after one more shot in the spotlight, which reminds us that smart concepts well executed can still draw a crowd, though unlikely the same numbers that show delivered when it was one of the biggest breakout hits in TV history. But Fox’s latest breakout hit demonstrates that a smart concept well executed can still draw a crowd. Whether it inspires an Idol-type empire remains to be seen.

Broadcasters are right to be concerned about the incentive auction, and to continue keeping the FCC’s feet to the fi re to make sure they’re not being sacrificed on the altar of wireless broadband.

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