Last updated: October 27, 2008 - 8:57pm
[Commentary] When the government yanks analog from broadcasters, forcing them to go digital amid a prolonged recession, it will give consumers the best reason to chuck their TV sets in favor of watching the same programs on the Web. Broadcasters who remain in denial face a certain death spiral. Dramatic as that sounds, there is mounting evidence that consumers are happy to access their content of choice as streaming video on the Internet, an iTunes download or cable video on demand. There is the real prospect that many of the 9% of U.S. households whose TV sets go dark Feb. 17 because they are not equipped to receive digital signals will stay dark. The way to avoid that calamity is to play to the universal screen-whether it is a home TV monitor, a computer, a smart phone or other portable device. It is the consumer access-not the screen-that is important. Create timely, innovative, artful content that entertains and informs anywhere, anytime. A broadcast network schedule is just one increasingly uncommon place where liberated consumers watch what they want. You have already lost younger generations from prime-time regimentation; older consumers are not far behind.
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