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article imageOp-Ed: Television — Just another player in the content industry

By Andrew Ellis     Nov 3, 2013 in Entertainment
It seems as though every month you hear about a new company venturing into the land of original programming. Everyone is trying to get a piece of someone's attention.
This doesn't mean that television is dying by any means, it just means that the playing field is becoming more crowded than ever - and everyone is competing for the viewer's attention.
Now the battle for content isn't new. It's been around for a while as consumers have had to choose between watching a show on TV, watching a movie, listening to music, and other activities for years. Now, however, people have so much more to choose from including podcasts, original content on YouTube, Netflix's original programming, and so many more.
While this does obviously add to content channels that television has to compete with, shows on television seem to just get better and better. A lot of it is also coming from channels such as AMC (The Walking Dead, the now-over Breaking Bad), FX (Justified, Sons of Anarchy), and pay-channels like HBO (Girls, Game of Thrones).
The reason why these channels seem to provide the better content is that they seem to be given more freedom in terms of what they can show audiences, especially on a channel like HBO. These shows tend to have more explicit material such as violence, swearing, and sex.
That's not say to that ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX don't produce quality content either. ABC is doing well with fan favorite series such as Castle and Modern Family. NBC has been hitting home runs with supernatural series Grimm, and CBS is home to both the CSI and NCSI franchises. FOX has The Simpsons, which will probably never get cancelled, as well as Bones, and New Girl.
What Television has over a content source such as the movie industry is its ability to not speed up story lines in order to fit them into a 120 minute feature. In a sense, their ability to have characters slowly evolve over several seasons can keep audiences tuned in for several seasons. The downfall of course is if a show gets cancelled after its first season.
What may be hurting TV is what seems to be an overflowing of reality shows. While they may be cheap to make, and can easily draw you in, they do take up room that could filled by the next great show from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. I think it's these kinds of show that can turn viewers away, and bring them to other sources like Netlfix and even Amazon.
One thing that should be looked at is how the industry calculates whether or not a show should stay on air. Nielson counts the number of people watching the shows, but there has to be some way count how much a show is talk about on social media platforms and in culture in general. It might help shows that fans love from getting cut short.
In the end, TV isn't going anywhere - it just has more competition. Hopefully, it will be able to use that to its benefit.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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