Cable Technology Feature Article
CES 2014 to Play Host to Binge-viewing World Record Attempt
By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer
One great thing about the Consumer Electronics Show (CES (News - Alert)) is that there's always a lot going on. There's big news on most every front as all the biggest names in electronics roll out the biggest and best for the year that only just got started. This year will prove no exception as a group of three television buffs will attempt to break a world record in the midst of the event, for the most television viewed in a sitting.
It's being called the TiVo TV Binge-viewing World Record Attempt, and calls for our trio to view over 86 hours and 37 minutes of television. It's set to start January 6 at 7 p.m., and will carry on throughout E3 with plans to finally stop on January 10. Those interested in keeping an eye on the proceedings, meanwhile, can watch all the sedentary action at TiVo's booth at the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, booth 7920.
A live stream is set to be included in this, and users can also follow the action on Twitter (News - Alert) as well as various summary videos posted to YouTube on TiVo's YouTube channel. The viewers are permitted a five minute break every hour, but that five minute break encompasses things like sleeping, and using the restroom. Though the participants are allowed to eat and drink while watching, reading or engaging in a second screen activity are off limits. The event will be hosted by Chris Cashman, radio and television host, and will be witnessed and time-kept by a host of staff and volunteers to ensure that the event goes off to the Guinness World Records' staff's liking.
The previous record involves nothing but consecutive episodes of “The Simpsons” viewed over an 86-hour period back in 2012. But with this go-round, it looks like it's going to involve a lot more content overall. TiVo's president and CEO, Tom Rogers (News - Alert), offered some commentary on the event, saying “Now, more than ever, we're seeing a huge range of buzz-worthy television content -- from sitcoms, to reality TV, to dramas -- and these shows are permeating our culture, becoming a part of daily conversation. As a result, consumers are increasingly binge-viewing popular TV programming, and this phenomenon has truly gained social acceptance.”
Indeed, Rogers has a point. There are more ways than ever before to watch a whole lot of television and do so all at once. Personally, I can't binge view anything; I get maybe three or four episodes into something and I'm wanting to try something else. But the opportunity to binge view is ever-present; Hulu (News - Alert) keeps small bolts of the most recent stuff, with some of the bigger items around besides. Netflix keeps huge repositories of complete series, including both old and new stuff on hand. That's before things like Amazon Instant Video and iTunes come into play, and doesn't even factor in what happens when cable and a DVR like the TiVo Roamio get involved.
There's more content now than ever, more opportunities to view that content, and about the only thing that's short any more is time. But it's a perfect storm setup for binge-viewing, and seeing this attempt at a world record really only cements it. It's likely to change a lot of things in the near-term—the growing cable cutting movement and responses from ISPs like Verizon (News - Alert) shows that plainly—but for now, it's going to be an impressive world record attempt if nothing else.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker