Tag Archives: US shows

Foreign shows are not for local networks.

The huge audience drop for Homeland raises serious questions about the challenges facing traditional TV. The brutal reality is this: content that has screened in other parts of the world is increasingly subject to online piracy and other platforms that allow internet browsers to get around ‘geo-blocks’ on content.

From ‘TV isn’t broadcasting impressive numbers’ in The Age

The answer to the networks’ problem lies in this paragraph from The Age.

Local networks can no longer compete by showing TV shows from overseas if they are not offering a day and date option.

The truth has been for some time that they were never really competing anyway. They were just ignoring their own fate.

Years ago the networks should have prepared their stakeholders for a few years of losses while they invested in the local industry, developing great story-tellers, characters and a unique perspective that the rest of the world would want a piece of.

We saw it this week with the US purchase of ABC’s Rake. They’re remaking it, but it means more money coming back into our industry. It’s a return on investment that regards the entire world as a potential audience, rather than a tiny population in a very large country.

This is as much about the short-sightedness of our television networks as it is about our own pride and conviction in our stories. It’s about having goals and allowing those goals to guide decisions based on a playing long game. It’s about taking some risks and aiming for innovation rather than gentrification.

The Australian free-to-air commercial television networks balked at the first sign difficulty. It’s not too late but it’s going to take some hard work, some pay cuts and some sacrifices to learn to make local television for a global audience.

Mia Cross has started to Twitter. That’s right. The fictional, plagiarising Lolita from Californication is now also pretending to be a real person in the lead-up to the new series of the show that disappointed everybody with its final episode.

Showtime, the cable network in the US that produces Californication has been using viral marketing on the web quite well for some of their programmes. Most notable is the video/SMS campaign for the second season of Dexter.

The thing is, Mia Cross is totally the kind of character who would start on Twitter because their agent thought it was a good and quick way to get a profile without them even understanding the concept of the community or how it works.

Meanwhile, Lost‘s ?ber-invasive conspiracy body, The Dharma Initiative, has been seeking and testing new recruits. Fans of Lost, me included, are excited to get an insight into the organisation that harnessed the magical island’s magnetic energy and ran tests on humans and animals alike. Actually, some of us, me included, are excited just to get a Dharma Initiative ID card.

The question that comes to mind, though, is what are the marketing people thinking this does for a show? Will it build audience directly? Will it strengthen the brand in a viewer’s mind so that he or she becomes an evangalist for the programme? Or is it just throwing crap at a wall and hoping it sticks?