Networks are their own Worst Enemy - I try to become a Revenge viewer

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by marksman, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Nov 3, 2011 #1 of 11
    marksman

    marksman ID-10-T

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    I will note that I somehow had a thread with a very similar title back in 2009. Very weird.

    I caveat this that I know that Nielsen households determine the ratings but since the networks are not supposed to know who are nielsen households they should assume everyone is.

    I have been trying to DVR episodes of Revenge and I had been on the fence about seeing it. I kept hearing good things about it and finally gave in this morning to give it a go. After forcing my self to pay extra close attention to understand what was going on in the first 35 minutes of the pilot I was really into it, so I finished up the first episode and was ready to go.

    At this point I was ready to dive into the second episode. Only problem is my DVR gave me an alert that I did not record all of it because it ran out of space. Since this was recorded over month ago and I had same vague recollection of running out of disk space more than once, I looked and saw that I still had 47 minutes of it. I figured I would watch that and get the last few minutes elsewhere.

    As I get started I decide to think ahead in case I get that far and want to watch it. I have DirecTV and I knew ABC had an On-Demand channel, at least they did as of a few weeks ago. I tried to bring it up, but it did not show up for me. It just seemed to have disappear. I do not know if it was a glitch, if it is gone, if it is an ABC problem, a Directv problem, I was not going to dwell on it. Odds were they would not still have the second episode on there as networks do stupid things with on-demand content.

    From there I pull up ABC on my iPhone. Obviously if I had an iPad this would be really easy with the ABC app but I do not. There are no full episodes for the mobile website for Revenge, so just decide to watch the 47 minutes I have and watch the rest on the regular ABC website on my computer.

    I finish and I go to the ABC website and I see 6 episodes listed for viewing. I see the pilot and I see up to the recent episode, I do not know if it was last week or last night. I kept trying to play the second episode (having to sit through Lowes, Toyota and CMA commercials over and over), and skipping forward but it was never the right episode. I tried this a few times until I double checked and for some reason ABC has all the episodes on their website except the second episode. I found that mind boggling. I am aware of the horrible on-demand and website policies networks often have for their shows, but this made no sense. The pilot was there, the third, fourth, and fifth episodes were there... no second episode. I finally broke down and just downloaded a torrent to watch the end of the second episode. From there I will watch the others and catch up.

    Here is my problem, why is it so freaking difficult to actually become a fan of a tv show. The networks continue have this whole process arse backwards. How much money has ABC spent trying to get people to watch Revenge? I am someone who has bought on board late but will likely end up being a regular viewer who will view the show quickly but they make it a massive pain in the arse to catch up. The problem is all the networks have their issues and all are basically horrible at getting people to watch their shows.

    I realize they are so narrowly focused on what is airing now, but it is a stupid strategy that has caused them to fall back to where they are essentially just other channels. They shouldn't spend millions of dollars to get people to watch their shows and then do all kinds of dumb things to keep people from catching up or becoming new fans of their shows.

    Cable does this so much better. I know most cable series have shorter runs, but most of the shows end up being rerun multiple times and they end up with marathons of entire seasons so people can catch up and/or jump on board. I realize the networks have different restrictions but they do have the resources to allow people to do this and they either fumble it or more likely actively don't do it because they have some warped notion it impacts other revenue streams. As shows get canceled and we enter the holidays next month it is a potential chance for people to catch up on shows yet the networks will do nothing to facilitate this. Heck you can't even trust them on reruns because if they run reruns of a show from May through September who knows when they will just pre-empt an episode with something else and you are just tough luck on watching it.

    Bottom line is I don't understand the business where they are sweating blood to get people to watch their shows yet their audiences erode more and more every single year, yet they do not do some very simple things that would potentially allow them to keep their audience and even grow some shows.

    They have websites, they have on-demand, they have facilities to provide the shows to me. Sure they want me to pay $2.00 to download it on iTunes, when the day before they were BEGGING me to watch it for free. That is absurd. Yet that is the kind of short sighted thinking that rules the networks. They will not sacrifice any short term gain or goal for any medium turn or long term growth or gain.

    I think I have my own revenge list now, I must be going.
     
  2. Nov 3, 2011 #2 of 11
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    Because bottom line, the only viewing networks REALLY care about (at least the broadcast networks) is the original viewing. They care a lot less about any viewing after that because they know that:

    On DVRs commercials are being fast forwarded

    Online they make a lot less money (and there are a lot less ads) than the initial viewing.

    They still don't have the right business model for online streaming.

    The OnDemand, I don't think I've used with ABC on DirecTV but with the NBC version, (in SD last I checked), they disable FF/30 skip.
     
  3. Nov 3, 2011 #3 of 11
    RandomTask

    RandomTask New Member

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    It's more fundamental that this. Even if you can find it they make the experience miserable. ABC is particularly annoying. Same set of commercials over and over. If I play the episode full screen, they go back to small for commercials ( WTF, that's the money...). If you pause, they do the same. It's just annoying as heck.

    I just don't get the lack of a sensible online options for network TV.

    I have a PS3, an XBOX, a Wii and an apple TV and all work but just barely and not in anything like what I'd really like to see. I'm amazed when I hear how many people are supposed to be getting their content online. I hate it. Add to it the fact that many laptops with HDMI don't pass the sound and it ends up miserable.
     
  4. Nov 3, 2011 #4 of 11
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    TV networks still haven't been able to figure out how to monetize the fact that a show has a fan base. All they know how to monetize is the number of people watching a show live. Since networks don't generally own the shows that air on their networks, they don't have a big incentive to let viewers get caught up. If the primary means of revenue for the network has been missed, they don't really care about the eyeballs.
     
  5. Nov 3, 2011 #5 of 11
    dcheesi

    dcheesi ...I'm not.

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    Funny, I consider that a feature --it's one less mouse-click between me and the web-surfing I do during their commercial breaks :)
     
  6. Nov 3, 2011 #6 of 11
    Church AV Guy

    Church AV Guy Active Member

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    high desert...
    True, and I was going to say this, BUT, the point that marksman is making, and it is a valid one, is that for a serialized show like Revenge, being able to catch up with missed episodes will do a lot for making sure the audience stays with the show, watches the show, watches the commercials in the show. If they want to maintain the numbers, and keep the audience, then it should be easy for someone to cach up on a missed episode. That would be a good business model for this type of program. He's right, networks CAN be their own worst enemy. Thereis no point in making the episodes not available after the initial airing.
     
  7. Nov 3, 2011 #7 of 11
    Magnolia88

    Magnolia88 She likes cheese.

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    Revenge is good. I feel your pain. :(

    TV Guide lists all the episodes as available. Does that help at all? I'm not clear on which ones are free and which aren't but Hulu only has the latest five eps for free. (I can't test the links.)

    ETA: And since this thread is sorta about Revenge . . . where is the thread about the latest episode? Is there one? It was awesome!
     
  8. Nov 3, 2011 #8 of 11
    aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

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    It was awesome and this show keeps getting better and better!!

    I agree with the OP. Even if the network only cares about the original viewing, they still should make it a priority to ensure the show is available to watch. People are not going to commit to a show once it has started unless they can watch back episodes.

    I think most people don't want to use torrents. I don't. I am often left with a tough choice.

    1. Don't watch the show at all because the networks make it so difficult.

    2. Wait a year or so for the DVD to come out.

    3. Steal it via Biittorent.

    I usually choose #3.

    I wish the networks would start paying attention to what is happening on cable TV. Breaking Bad had a record ratings season because it has gotten a lot of good word of mouth and people were able to watch via Netflix, DVD, etc. Not many shows have their highest ratings ever in the 4th season.
     
  9. Nov 4, 2011 #9 of 11
    cmontyburns

    cmontyburns Excellent.

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    Eh, I dunno. As the OP himself says at the end of his post, the episode is right there on iYunes. $2, no ads. HD option. He could have been watching it in minutes. The problem isn't that ABC made it hard, it's that he didn't want to pay for it. Different thing.
     
  10. marksman

    marksman ID-10-T

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    Yeah but they spend millions of dollars to try and get me to watch it for free, so that is not a sensible solution in my mind. That is the kind of thinking that the networks make and it is why they continue to see their audiences disappear.

    I have so many shows left to watch both new and old. There is a massive amount of competition for my time. I value my time significantly. If they want to charge me for it, on top of what I am already paying for everything else I have to watch, they are the ones losing it.

    It is a very short-sighted way to run a business.

    If I become a viewer for the next 5 years for their show, is that worth their share of $2?

    I watched more commercials just trying to see the episode on ABC.com than any person watching the show would ever see.
     
  11. marksman

    marksman ID-10-T

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    Yeah I am hooked. I am up to the last two episodes now, one of which I did not end up having saved on MY DVR.

    I can sit at my computer and watch it, or I can just bittorrent it. I actually want the networks to try and earn money off my viewing, but they seem to want to make it extremely difficult. They have got me as a revenge user in spite of themselves.


    That was the weird thing for me... ABC.Com had the pilot, and episode 3, 4 and 5, but did not have episode 2. Normally I would have chalked it up to them only having the most recent episodes, but since the pilot was there, it did not really make sense.

    As for the episode guides, I do end up going to them more often than not just to make sure they are missing something.

    I would add it is even worse for serial shows that should be watched in order, which Revenge is definitely one, should be working harder to get people caught up to speed and on board.

    In the last year or so I caught up entirely from start to finish on Breaking Bad and Good Wife. Previously Dexter. The cable shows I could get every past episode I wanted to see. Good Wife I had recorded them when they aired but I still ended up with a few missing episodes that I had to torrent.

    The networks just have to figure out better ways to get people to see their shows to catch up and other ways, because it is a massive advantage for the cable networks and it is why you see cable networks able to grow shows when the regular networks end up with a downward spiral.

    One of the reasons a show like NCIS jumped in its ratings over time to become a huge ratings winner is because they were running episodes non stop on USA. Which that is not a show you have to watch in order, this still made it possible for me to catch up. I think I watched the first 4 or 5 seasons on USA because they ran the episodes all the time. Then I was ready to start mixing in new episodes as well.

    To me the issue is they take their eye off their core business too much and sacrifice getting eyeballs on their primetime shows by worrying too much about the ancillary markets so they do things that hurt their core business because it helps their ancillary businesses. So it is great if one out of ten people buy an iTunes episode of a revenge episode on iTunes who missed it. Imagine if they had a way to provide those episode to people in a more effective way and instead of keeping one of ten people who missed an episode watching they could keep four out of ten or five out of ten.

    Imagine if in December when not much was on someone had the ability to catch up on all the old episodes of Revenge easily and then when new episodes come back they were a brand new viewer boosting their ratings. Instead they are like, well if anyone wants to do that they can kick out $20 to iTunes... Again, not a good solution, and bad business.

    This is one of the reasons why serial shows are doing so poorly on networks, for the most part. The networks do a horrible job of keeping their audience, and building their audience. It is why CBS continues to dominate with all their procedurals because they do not require any of that kind of work and effort. The kind of work and effort the pay and basic cable channels are more than happy to put in.

    As for me paying for itunes. I have the last two seasons of Dexter on my dvr. I have the last season and current season of Sons of Anarchy waiting, I have the the first couple episodes of Walking Dead this season waiting, and any number of other shows. I have plenty of options and if they choose to make it too difficult or expect me to pay for the privilege, well it is their loss not mine. I have too much good stuff to watch anyways.
     

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