Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Completing the circle

For less than a year, Download Television (through iTunes, Google Video Store and other places) has emerged alongside traditional Broadcast Television. In effect, the lag between the pay per view programming and the free to air equivalent has fallen from 6 months (through DVD sales) to 6 or so hours. Now, the lag will turn 'negative.' This summer, NBC will offer new episodes of The Office on the web first. Presumably, they will then be broadcast on the regular season.

What this means is that television programs will have a 'versioning' structure similar to movies that start with pay per view before going to free to air broadcast. This is not surprising as high priced versions are usually offered prior to low priced ones -- with the key differentiator being delayed. The surprising thing is how long this has taken to happen with regard to television programming.


Joe Yap said...

Would this work for movies ? In many cases, my wife and I differentiate movies according to "Cinema movies" and "DVD Movies" with the latter being romantic-comedy, drama types with minimal special effects.

It'd be great from the consumer's perspective if we were eventually presented with the choice to watch a currently screening movie in the comfort of our own home, with the equivalent pricing of a DVD rental.

In theory, since the marginal costs of delivering another copy of the movie over broadband would be nothing, there has to be a price point where it'd be just as effective to extract profits from TV viewers as well as movie goers. I guess though that while content producers would be fairly indifferent, cinema operators would be the ones to lose out, and eventually favour high-budget special effects type movies.

I guess it boils down to how many movie watchers differentiate between the high-budget special effects flicks and the relatively easy to produce brokeback mountain-types.

Anonymous said...

Does the delay in getting here have anything to do with the lag in getting broadband to the homes?