Off the Media: TV as Weekend Box Office?

siva-thumb2.gifOn the Media this week makes us wait until almost the bitter end for the sweetest morsels. In the middle of the final segment, about TV in the TiVO age, co-host Bob Garfield suggests that with TV shows distributed in so many ways (iPod, DVD, OnDemand, etc.) maybe the first airing on broadcast networks is becoming the equivalent of weekend box office for Hollywood studios. So, the first airing(s) and the audience and “buzz” it attracts tells you how well the show will do in all its other markets. You make, say, $10 million in ads from the show when it airs, and $30 million from all those iPod downloads and DVDs and whatever else you can sell.

Otherwise, OTM is pretty much stuff we knew or had figured out for ourselves — Iranian nukes (check), NSA wiretaps (check), American political consultants going across our borders and spreading the wisdom of negative campaigning (check), those media consultants make beaucoup bucks (check). Though it was fun to hear co-host Brooke Gladstone take business’ side while questioning NYU’s Siva Vaidhyanathan (surprisingly, she didn’t mention his blog, SIVACRACY.NET) about telcos’ hopes of charging businesses extra to allow the fastest access to their Web sites. Fun to hear that angle from Brooke because a) this is NPR, after all, and Brooke lives in a liberal Brooklyn bastion with her Slate-contributing hubby. Just as much fun is that the photo of Siva (cropped, above) is saved as “anarchistmug” on his site.