Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why the Internet is good for television

There has been much discussion as to whether the Internet is killing traditional television shows. Bit Torrent, etc., has hurt a lot of studios who are losing out on revenue (both advertising and DVD revenue). But online commercial-supported streaming may change that. For example, the multi-network/studio venture Hulu has led to a bunch of new TV viewing by me. To wit:

Ongoing TV shows I've started -- watching both online and on TV -- because of Hulu: Burn Notice, Parks and Recreation, My Name is Earl (OK, this has since been canceled, but the point remains -- they are getting an ad-viewing audience they would not have received otherwise).

Old, archive shows shows I've started watching because of Hulu: Dead Like Me (I love this show!), Firefly. I likely would never have watched these shows without Hulu and certainly wouldn't have bought the DVDs. So it's free money for the studios.

On the flip side, shows that I started watching on television, but now catch (or caught if since-ended) thanks to Hulu: Battlestar Galactica (2004 series), ER, King of the Hill, The Simpsons, American Dad, House. (In fairness, I will buy the BSG Blu-Ray when it comes out and I likely would NOT have watched ER if it had not been available online.)

(On the flip side of the Internet/television argument, I must admit to watching last week's BBC sensation "Torchwood: Children of Earth" through, shall we say, illicit means. I found it fantastic, good, thinking science fiction. It doesn't air until next week on BBC America, a channel I do not have. To make up for it, the Blu-Ray is on pre-order from Amazon.)

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