TV For Sale
Huh. First-run episodes of network television for only $0.99 each.
My cable bill is $99.00 already. I get 112 channels, including premiums but not including ambient music. That's 2,688 hours per month of television. Or four cents an hour. Since these shows are actually about 45 minutes each--minus commercials--that's about 3 cents worth of television. So, a markup of roughly 3000 percent. Cool.
Or, to give the networks the benefit of the doubt, let's say I watch roughly 3 hours of TV a day during the week, 7 on the weekends. That's 35 hours a week. Or 140 hours per month. So that's 70 cents per hour. Still leaving us with a markup of 41%.
According to this chart of 30-second Ad Rates for network television, the going rate for advertising on an episode of CSI is $465,000. There are, according to my TiVo, roughly 20 of these ad slots available. That's $9,300,000 in ad revenue for one episode. It would take only nine and a half million downloads to far surpass earnings via a ppv model versus an ad revenue model. Will nine and a half million people pay to watch an uncut episode of CSI? A top episode is watched by about 18million households. It is conceivably possible that within five years television may move to a ppv distribution model.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? It will be harder to interest people in unproven shows, but there will be more pressure to create high-quality, saleable televsion. HBO has long had the strongest quality line up in programming, with fewer shows--all of which are better-produced than the average network show. Regardless, you will receive less quantity in a ppv model and therefore do far less surfing. I doubt anyone, save my mother, will pay 99 cents to watch old episodes of "Changing Rooms".