Boob tube, television, idiot box, TV, TV set, baby-sitter, or if you’re a kooky Brit, it’s a telly.
For nearly a century, television has been delivering programming to viewers and while some consider it to be a fading medium, there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. Is there a down-tick in viewing? Probably. And no doubt, it’s most evident among a younger demographic; but hours spent watching television in various ways continues to be strong. Whether you’ve cut the cord, subscribe to Netflix or Hulu, or just have a cool antenna or dish on your house, you likely watch television.
In a world where new ways to consume media crop up regularly and where consumers have numerous options, television has done a decent job of evolving while still appeasing those of us who rely on news products, information, and entertainment as we have for some time. Affiliates across the country continue to be major players in promoting local causes and often deliver the most content with respect to high school sports and local weather as compared to any other medium. There are still local news broadcasts with beloved (or sometimes despised) anchors who land a position and stay there until retirement.
Heck, Charles Osgood recently retired after TWENTY-TWO YEARS of anchoring CBS Sunday Morning. How many new-media execs can say that? Many of them have barely been alive as long as Osgood’s 45-year career in television. If TV is dead, someone better tell Lester Holt and Jon Stewart. It evolves, yet remains a dinosaur in the industry.
What I’ve never understood: if people aren’t watching TV, be it broadcast or cable, how does nearly everyone have a favorite show? The Voice, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy or the newest Prime water-cooler talk, This Is Us, all see plenty of social media buzz. You don’t get that from newspaper or radio (and though I believe those mediums have their place, this is my blog and I’m here to talk about TV) and you don’t see Facebook posts that rival the devastation fans felt when McDreamy died when it comes to those mediums, either.
Television is so versatile, which also helps make it relevant. It runs the gamut from sports to documentaries, movies to sitcoms, local news to the Weather Channel and while one can certainly concede that some people are watching online, it’s still television producing this stuff. And it doesn’t come cheap: it’s a multi-billion dollar industry and the men and women in charge of it are determined to keep it relevant in an ever-changing landscape of media consumption.
So, as my very own can koozie suggests: Do People Still Watch TV? ALE YEAH!