I'm sure everyone's read the stories today. 

Disney bought Fox entertainment for more than $50 million in stock. Fox will keep its news and sports channels, and Disney gets almost everything else, including the film rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four.

In addition, Disney picks up some non-Marvel brands of sigificance, including The Simpsons, Avatar and Kingsman. Disney also adds Fox's 30 percent ownership of Hulu to its own 30 percent share, for a majority share.

So, what do y'all think?

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Joe Sherrod said:

It is a Federal law that the local TV stations must broadcast a signal thru the airwaves. I live in the Houston area and pick up most of the tv stations broadcast thru my viewing area. Now of course knowing the Federal  government this could change in the future?

Right. It's like the U.S. Postal Service. Although there's FedEx and UPS and other alternative delivery services, you'll always have the Postal Service, because it is legally obligated to provide service to everyone everywhere in the United States. 

Likewise, broadcast television is legally obligated to be available, and for free, unlike cable.

Captain Comics said:

They pull in genre fans, which is good enough for cable, but not enough of the mundanes to make a profit on the three big networks. Millennials and tech-savvy older viewers are finding new ways to watch TV that don't include broadcast or cable-fed broadcast. And we don't watch the big three's scripted sitcoms, because we find them stupid.

In our case, we watch the comics-related shows but we also selectively watch a number of comedy and dramatic shows from the broadcast networks. If a show is stupid, we don't watch it. It helps a lot that most of these shows are available through the CBS All Access and Hulu streaming services, so I don't have to go nuts trying to record everything. If someone says that there's "nothing on" to watch, they are trying to live in the 1950s TV world, when you had to be in front of your TV at a certain time or miss a show entirely, hoping that months later it would be re-run. photo biggrin.gif

Isn’t Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  on ABC?

Captain Comics said:

That's a good question. But here's some food for thought.

Network is still the 800-lb gorilla, getting 10 times the viewership but none of the publicity.

How many here think Fox News has the best ratings for news on TV? It doesn't, but that's the impression you get from headlines on the internet. Fox has the best ratings for cable news, beating out CNN and MSNBC. But the ABC, CBS and NBC nightly news shows get easily 10 times Fox's numbers. You just don't hear about it.

Another example from our neck of the woods is Supergirl. CBS dropped the show because her numbers weren't good enough. But they were good enough for The CW, which has a much lower profit bar than a network. Most of the CW's superhero shows are hits by non-network standards, but don't get good enough numbers for network. 

How many comics-based shows are there on TV? More than a dozen. How many are on one of the three big networks? None. They pull in genre fans, which is good enough for cable, but not enough of the mundanes to make a profit on the three big networks. 

Millennials and tech-savvy older viewers are finding new ways to watch TV that don't include broadcast or cable-fed broadcast. And we don't watch the big three's scripted sitcoms, because we find them stupid. But the vast majority of Americans jut pay their cable bill and watch Lester Holt over dinner. And they're fine with that.

That being said, how long will that pertain? If enough people find alternative ways to watch TV, it will bolster those avenues and weaken the networks. Weaken those networks enough and advertisers will start bailing. Then you'll see a mad scramble for all that money. And even now streamers like Netflix and Hulu are finding ways to avoid advertising altogether, a kneecap to the network business model.

I think the hand-wringing over the networks is premature -- honestly, they're making a lot of money. (How much is a one-minute ad on the Super Bowl these days?) But I do think there are clouds on their horizon. I just don't know how long it will take the storm to get here, and if it will be strong enough to break their collective back.

What do you guys think?

Luke Blanchard said:

Will broadcast TV even exist in the future, as opposed to internet-transmitted TV?

I find internet ads easy to ignore. The only ones that catch my attention are ones that have to do with my interests. I turn the sound down on YouTube ads I don't want to watch and don't pay attention.

So why don't people do that watching TV? I suppose: people often watch TV together, and someone else in the room might want to watch the ads; they don't want to miss the programme's restart; the ad breaks are longer, and having ads to watch gives people something to do until the programme comes on again.

In the future computer programmes might exist that turn ads' sound down automatically for you. Or the ads might be targeted to you so well, on the basis of your Google or Amazon searches or the audience's profile, that you'll want to watch them. ("Here's the car your wife won't let you buy. Isn't it a great car? Instant acceleration. Computer traction control. Collision radar. Cool Italian style. No-one really needs two kidneys..."")

Perhaps ad companies will fund your combined cable-internet TV in exchange for your subscription to their ad service. You'll fill out a questionnaire indicating your ad interests, and when the time for the ads comes you'll get a slate of targeted ads.

I watch on broadcast TV. During the commercials I mute the audio! I thought that most people did that? Many of the commercials just repeat and repeat and repeat their message...I tell my wife and kids that they are just trying to program us to buy their products.
Luke Blanchard said:

I find internet ads easy to ignore. The only ones that catch my attention are ones that have to do with my interests. I turn the sound down on YouTube ads I don't want to watch and don't pay attention.

So why don't people do that watching TV? I suppose: people often watch TV together, and someone else in the room might want to watch the ads; they don't want to miss the programme's restart; the ad breaks are longer, and having ads to watch gives people something to do until the programme comes on again.

In the future computer programmes might exist that turn ads' sound down automatically for you. Or the ads might be targeted to you so well, on the basis of your Google or Amazon searches or the audience's profile, that you'll want to watch them. ("Here's the car your wife won't let you buy. Isn't it a great car? Instant acceleration. Computer traction control. Collision . Cool Italian style. No-one really needs two kidneys...")

Perhaps ad companies will fund your combined cable-internet TV in exchange for your subscription to their ad service. You'll fill out a questionnaire indicating your ad interests, and when the time for the ads comes you'll get a slate of targeted ads.

We DVR all shows we watch on broadcast TV and watch them with a slight delay so we can "zip" past the commercials. Our formula (so as to avaoid all commercials witjhout goping "live") is to begin watching a half hour show nine minutes in, and an hour show 19 minutes in. Using that method we have not seen a commercial (unless we wanted to) for well over a decade.

I forgot about that one. But it's not a theory-killer. ABC was going to cancel SHIELD this season for low ratings, but Disney made them un-cancel it. 

Dave Palmer said:

Isn’t Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  on ABC?

I agree.  It doesn't change the argument that superheroes don't draw enough of an audience to survive as a network show.  I haven't followed it the last few years but for its first season or two, Agents was more akin to X-Files than its comic book self.  The same for (the much missed) Agent Carter.

For the last few years, Agents of SHIELD has gotten much more sure-footed, and is willing to take much bigger swings for the fences. And incredibly, since the middle of last season (starting with the LMD storyline), they've pretty much nailed it all. The writing got sharper, both in dialogue and plot -- which made the always-able cast rise to the challenge. 

I agree! 

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

For the last few years, Agents of SHIELD has gotten much more sure-footed, and is willing to take much bigger swings for the fences. And incredibly, since the middle of last season (starting with the LMD storyline), they've pretty much nailed it all. The writing got sharper, both in dialogue and plot -- which made the always-able cast rise to the challenge. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

We DVR all shows we watch on broadcast TV and watch them with a slight delay so we can "zip" past the commercials. Our formula (so as to avaoid all commercials witjhout goping "live") is to begin watching a half hour show nine minutes in, and an hour show 19 minutes in. Using that method we have not seen a commercial (unless we wanted to) for well over a decade.

I do the same thing when watching a recorded show on the DVR. Our first DVR years ago had a button you could push to jump ahead 30 seconds, then another 30 seconds, which made it easy to skip commercials. I suspect this was a problem for the advertisers so the feature never reappeared. Some commercials can be quite entertaining and are worth watching at least once.

Nah...I hate most commercials...most of them repeat the same message over and over and over. I usually mute the audio during commercial breaks.

Richard Willis said:

Jeff of Earth-J said:

We DVR all shows we watch on broadcast TV and watch them with a slight delay so we can "zip" past the commercials. Our formula (so as to avaoid all commercials witjhout goping "live") is to begin watching a half hour show nine minutes in, and an hour show 19 minutes in. Using that method we have not seen a commercial (unless we wanted to) for well over a decade.

I do the same thing when watching a recorded show on the DVR. Our first DVR years ago had a button you could push to jump ahead 30 seconds, then another 30 seconds, which made it easy to skip commercials. I suspect this was a problem for the advertisers so the feature never reappeared. Some commercials can be quite entertaining and are worth watching at least once.

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