[opendtv] Re: How Battlestar Galactica Killed Broadcast TV

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 16 May 2005 12:19:22 -0400

At 2:26 PM +0100 5/16/05, Silvio Macedo wrote:
>  TV producers want their programming to be watched as widely as
>possible - by everyone. That's what they care about, and that's all
>they care about, because, with viewers, everything else takes care of
>itself: audiences equal money.
>This assertion seems so basic, so fundamentally essential to the
>economics of television, that it's very hard to understand why anyone
>(other than a broadcaster being cut out of the value chain) would get
>upset about piracy of television programming. The model as practiced
>at present can't effectively leverage the economic benefits of
>hyperdistribution, but that model was created before hyperdistribution
>was technically possible.

The mass media as we have come to know it was one of the first forms 
of hyper distribution. The media moguls have been "giving away" their 
content for decades in order to promote it.

Look at radio, after the comedy, music and drama shows, and their 
stars, moved to the new medium of television. It became the 
promotional engine for the music industry, popularizing acts and 
generating billions in sales of vinyl, 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs. 
As Silvio correctly asserts, its all about making huge audiences 
aware of the content you have to sell.

One need look no further that the high degree of cross platform 
integration and promotion that exists in the mass media today. TV 
shows are (promoted) advertised on radio stations. The stars of today 
make regular appearances on radio and TV talk shows to build their 
image and to hawk their latest endeavors. Publishing divisions use 
the TV divisions to "create news" to promote the latest books. And 
now the Internet is being exploited as well, either intentionally 
(media portals), or "unintentionally," via so called piracy.

The reality is that piracy is not bad. The problem is that it is 
difficult to control. Anyone can use hyperdistribution techniques to 
increase the awareness of their creations. And this threatens the 
extreme level of control over our mass media experiences that the 
media moguls seek to extend and perpetuate.

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