Subject:::What Can Cabelcos Do in the Post-Watercooler TV Era? - Cable Spotlight Cable eNewsletter
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February 19, 2013

What Can Cabelcos Do in the Post-Watercooler TV Era?

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

You know how it used to be back when there were only three for-profit national broadcast networks and no such thing as video-on-demand (VOD)—as a nation we watched the nightly news together as one, and waited patiently for weekly installments of our favorite primetime shows. TV was linear and part of the very fabric of our identity as Americans. Who didn’t have the “Who Shot J.R.” bumper sticker? Who didn’t discuss the M*A*S*H finale around the water-cooler at work the next day?

That M*A*S*H episode remains to this day the No. 1-rated television event of all time by percentage of the population, even when taking into account sports events like various Super Bowls. A full 60.2 percent of households in the United States tuned in for the Feb. 1983 ending to the series. The Dallas episode answering the question of who did indeed shoot J.R. Ewing (answer: his lover, Kristin, who happened to be pregnant with his baby) comes in second place, with 53.3 percent of households tuning in in Nov. 1980.

But let’s be honest: Those days are over. It’s no newsflash that viewing models are radically changing, spurred on by an explosion of cable networks, options for time-shifted viewing, video-on-demand (VOD) and over-the-top (OTT) streaming, and even, arguably, the rise of DVD sales of full seasons of popular shows. But the fact remains that cable operators aren’t adequately prepared for the shift... Read More

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