The On-Demand Age: Killing Broadcast TV?

Brenda Barron - Jul 31, 2008
The On-Demand Age: Killing Broadcast TV?

I don’t spend all that much time watching TV anymore. In fact, while I spend more time than ever in front of the computer, I hardly ever sit for hours straight in front of the TV. And I’m okay with that. And though we have a DVR and all of that, I still don’t get antsy if we miss a favorite show. No, I’m not sure that I’ll catch it in a rerun. I’m positive that I’ll catch it online.

How can I be so sure? Well, for starters, there’s all of the network websites that let you watch episodes of shows that have already aired. Sure, there’s a few commercials, but you can click through to the specific “act” of the show you want to see, as well. A good example is The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Just want to see the musical performance? No problem. Watch a minute long ad and you’re good to go. Plus, the picture quality is good.

Then there’s the websites not linked to any one network, like YouTube. Who hasn’t wasted a good several hours on that site? You can watch TV shows, interviews, movie clips, and people making fools of themselves all in one convenient place. And Hulu let’s you watch whole episodes of some TV shows (like Doogie Howser. Yes, that makes 2 NPH references in one week) and a bunch of clips from others. Movies are up there, too.

So what’s the point of all this? Well, with media at your fingertips, who wants or needs to sit around waiting for an episode of your favorite show to come on? Who even needs to remember when something will air? We live in the on-demand age. It’s all about instant gratification. And while deep down I know I’m supposed to think this is a bad thing, I can’t help but love it. I mean really, what did I do before I could look up old 80’s cartoons without hunting all over the net to find them? For that matter, what did I do before I had the Internet? I shudder at the thought.

But what do you think? Is having media at our fingertips corrupting us or is it a great timesaver and a provider of deeper access to entertainment? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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