Broadcasters fret about ‘Zero TV’ homes, are clueless


Increasing numbers of viewers are dumping television. Broadcasters are desperate to get these Zero TV homes back. Apparently they think the problem is their broadcasting just isn’t available on enough “gizmos” yet and not that cable is overpriced with users frequently having 300 channels and still nothing is worth watching. Nope, it has nothing to do with mindless reality show programming, news “reporting” that is devoid of content, or dumbed-down history documentaries. Instead, broadcasters access to those danged gizmos. But really, saying that smartphones and tablets are gimzos just demonstrates how they don’t get it. The game has unalterably changed. The gizmos are taking over. Television is becoming the dinosaur.

“Getting broadcast programming on all the gizmos and gadgets — like tablets, the backseats of cars, and laptops — is hugely important,” says Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters.

With the death of the television comes the death of the traditional model of broadcasting, where we sit obediently at a given hour to absorb content fed to us. That’s not what YouTube and social media are about. The user is often creating content too. Traditional broadcasting has few ideas on how to handle a landscape that has shifted underneath them.