Thursday, February 21, 2008

Year-Round Programming

NBC is trying something different for network television: a year-round schedule of programming instead of what has become a typical lineup of 9 months of regular programming followed by three summer months of reality shows. Media Life reported,

"With TV ratings falling and an increasing amount of new media distractions competing for viewers’ attention, many think it’s impractical for the broadcast networks to effectively go dark for three months out of the year...Meanwhile, cable networks have had tremendous success during the summer, often with highly regarded scripted shows like TNT’s “The Closer,” USA’s “Monk” and FX’s “Damages,” disproving broadcast’s long-held belief that people won’t commit to serials in the summer."

It’s not unusual for radio – especially in non-continuously measured markets – to do our own version of ‘going dark’ with limited contesting, putting marketing on hiatus, or waiting until we’re ‘in a book’ to do talk-about promotions. Certainly economics is a factor.

Still, some stations will find this an opportunity to do something special in a relative vacuum.

Cable networks apparently are having success with this.

At your next brainstorming session, consider what original and audience building ideas you could institute at a time when many of our competitors are ‘dark.’

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