08 November, 2005

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".


At 4:19 PM, November 08, 2005, Anonymous brittney said...

For those of us who forgo the giant cable bill and all its delicious channels, ppv TV is a godsend.

(Or you could just get BitTorrent, but you didn't hear me say that.)

At 4:20 PM, November 08, 2005, Blogger Lee said...

What I would love, but don't expect to happen anytime soon, is an a la carte approach to television. You pay $1.50 for every channel you want. Besides the locals, I only watch up to 25 channels, and I'd pay $37.50 for them.

At 5:50 PM, November 08, 2005, Anonymous little a said...

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%.

If you watch 35 hours of TV a week...get a life...

Besides, sports I watch only films an an occasional show, but not addicted.

At 6:04 PM, November 08, 2005, Blogger Patrick said...

Brittney, Nashville is not a good town to own up to torrenting in...

At 7:59 PM, November 08, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Little A...
How much time to you spend on the Internet? In bars? Playing Halo 2?

I daresay you've 35 hours of leisure time a week. Why does the way I choose to spend mine hold less value than the way you choose to spend yours.

'Sides which, my tv watching time is also spent knitting or crocheting. Do you make blankets and clothes for friends and family while surfing the web or reading FHM ?

At 12:15 AM, November 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to point out the whole 35 hours a week of TV watching, too. I was going to compare it to another full-time job. I was going to lord it over everyone here that I've watched exactly 30 minutes of "real" TV in the last 6 months (gotta see Norm Abrahms build that coffee table). I was going to point out how I'm now almost two months ahead in my work this season compared to any of the last fifteen years.

I was, until I saw Katherine's response to "litte a". Now I won't risk that wrath.


At 12:53 AM, November 09, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Mr. Y.:

I knew you were going to say all of those things. Because I have not forgotten that you quit TV, so I was waiting for that whole 'no zealot like a convert' thing.

And I am fully prepared to point out that watching DVDs is the same thing as watching television, and in fact comprises a large portion of what I do when I "watch television".

And I'm also proud to admit that if I had a job where I could knit, crochet and eat my dinner while other people told me stories and jokes, sang me songs and kept me informed about the world then I'd be on it like a duck on a junebug.

TV is like guns. The thing itself isn't evil. It's how you choose to use it.

At 1:02 AM, November 09, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...


I would love to see an ala carte approach to TV. I heard rumours of this kicking around Congress awhile back but nothing seems to have come of it. I hate that we pay so much for so many channels but end up watching the same five or six on a regular basis. It's like paying for an all-you-can-eat buffet and filling up on mashed potatos and carrot salad. Which I also do at the Hermitage Smorgasboard on occassion. So it's a very valid analogy.

Am I addicted to TV? Far from it. But the thing is, I realized about 5 years ago that I only had so much leisure time, but it was mine to spend exactly as I wanted. There are days when I'll plop my can in front of the TV and watch the entire Godfather Saga. (Those days are usually accompanied by massive painkillers)

There are days when I'll read. In fact, given that I read about five books a week, I'd say I read more than I watch tv. Why am I going into all of this? I have no idea. I was just thinking about it after a and j brought it up I suppose.

At 1:24 PM, November 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love an ala carte approach to t.v. also. It makes more sense for people to be able to pay only for what they watch. The cable companies will never go for it, though, because they'd rather make $99 than $35. I would never pay 99 cents for an uncut t.v. show. For me, that seems like a huge waste of money.

By the way, some of these people were way judgemental and holier than thou about your t.v. watching habits. Don't let them get to you. You are the smartest, coolest person I know, and any amount of t.v. watching that you choose to do won't change that and is YOUR business! They're the ones who need to get a life!


Post a Comment

<< Home