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StormSurge

Crazy Idea or Realistic??

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So I had a random thought the other day while browsing through the channel guide & realizing there was NOTHING on TV that I wanted to watch.

I have DirecTV (no cable options on the island & over the air isn't an option either). I have no problems paying for it. I only watch NFL games, UConn men's basketball, Mets games, reruns of The Office, Parks & Rec, Seinfeld, other random sitcoms, any airings of Step Brothers & other random movies, etc. Basically, the only current show I watch is The Good Place & I usually catch that on Hulu.

My DirecTV programming is filled with networks I have never watched & never will watch. There must be at least 100 channels that fit that description.

So my idea is this. Similar to an ideal a la carte programming plan, where the consumer could pick the networks they would want & eliminate all the filler, how about the consumer picks the content??

Instead of choosing say 50 networks, what if the option existed where the consumer could dictate what is shown on each channel (along with choosing networks).

For example, let's say I want to have ESPN, NFL Network, HGTV, History, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, & a few others. To round out my programming, I would also like one channel that only played Seinfeld, one only played Barney Miller, one only played Buck Rodgers, one only played The Office, one played The Twilight Zone, etc. Those channels could still have commercials like if a network was showing a marathon, but the consumer chose what each channel played.

I know it sounds kind of wacky, but I'd be much more inclined to spend three hours watching Everybody Loves Raymond than not watch anything. 

A lot of these shows are already available to be streamed on various streaming networks, which makes me think this might not be that nuts in the future.

Just a random shower thought I figured I'd share with you all. 🤔

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What I REALLY do not like is how all of these channels have homogenized into one big soupy mess of cable TV networks, as opposed to the very diverse array of 30 distinct cable channels that we had in the '80s and '90s. Most all cable networks are basically airing the same stuff and targeting the same demo. The variety and uniqueness is gone. Every channel that I used to love watching, that had it's own flavor and uniqueness is now a Viacom channel trying to be what TBS and USA Network have always been and just air Big Bang Theory reruns and reality shows.

Nick at Nite and TV Land used to be "our television heritage" with everything from I Love Lucy, Alfred Hitchcock, Bewitched, Car 54, Mr. Ed, My 3 Sons, Best of SNL, SCTV, Bob Newhart, MTM, Taxi, Happy Days, Mork & Mindy. Later they added a few newer shows like Cosby Show, etc. Then one day I woke up and Nick at Nite didn't start until way after I would have been sent to bed as a kid and it was like Hot In Cleveland, Mommy-oriented reality shows and Big Bang Theory.

Comedy Central used to be amazing. They still have some good original content, but the quirky niche feel of the first decade is long gone. The sort of unique programming that we would spend all weekend watching like Kids In The Hall, MST3K, Strangers with Candy, and a focus on stand-up comedy with shows like The A-List and Comedy Central Presents has gone away in favor of the latest laughtrack-free sitcom. 

MTV rarely airs music videos. I guess it's all on YouTube now, and that's exactly where kids and teens are spending their time watching stuff.

VH1 see above. "Music First" became Surreal Life, then Flavor of Love, and went on from there. That was like 10 years ago.

TNN used to be "The Nashville Network" with a focus on country music and lifestyle. Mix in car racing, cooking and variety shows and you have a network. CMT took over country music I suppose, but it's the same MTV formula with hardly any music, and country stars in the same predictable reality shows. TNN became SpikeTV, and that went away and is now "Paramount Network" which is about as generic a name as you could possibly come up with for a cable TV channel.

Court TV is TruTV. TruTV is comedy. Court TV was big in the '90s during the trial of The Menendez Bros, O.J. Simpson, etc. and later became TruTV which was reality shows like Hardcore Pawn, until they shifted to filling 90% of their airtime with Impractical Jokers. I love Impractical Jokers, I think the guys are brilliant. But it belongs on 1990s Comedy Central, not TruTV. Once again it's a shift away from a unique and distinct cable channel to a focus on light comedy.

History Channel is aliens.

Sci-Fi Channel is comedy.

BBC is Sci-Fi. Lots of X-Files and TNG I suppose because Sir Patrick is British? Or due to the success of Dr. Who? So where do people go to watch Benny Hill, Absolutely Fabulous or whatever BBC is actually airing in Britain? 

Adult Swim lost its edge.

HBO airs Sesame Street. HBO has never really hit its stride again since Sopranos went off. They've had some excellent content at times but nothing that has surpassed what came before. At least HBO airing movies is still a thing.

PBS is still PBS but Sesame Street is 30 mins, Mr. Rogers is no longer aired, nor are other classic shows that I grew up watching in reruns such as 3-2-1 Contact, The Electric Company, Reading Rainbow, Square One Television, etc. I understand these shows are older but these are perennial classics that ALL children should have easy access to, in a mixture of new and old educational programming for children.

Discovery Channel is sharks and motorcycles so at least that's been consistent. Mythbusters had a nice long run, now I feel like Discovery Channel is between things, trying to find what will work best for them next.

Nickelodeon used to be a lot more "kid-oriented" with super sloppy game shows, afternoon shows hosted live from Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, lots of nicktoons and kids being kids. It seems like they've shifted towards more "trendy" shows with Arianna Grande. I'd rather kids were able to not have to grow up so fast and just enjoy being a kid.

Cartoon Network isn't running much from Hannah-Barbera or Looney Tunes. I guess you have to add Boomerang to see that stuff.

FX no longer airs It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Louie, or any comedy programming. You've got to add FXX to get that. At least their original programming has been doing well.

BET is a lot of reality shows. Again, doesn't matter if it's MTV, TNN or BET, all the music video stuff is gone, everything that's filled the void is all basically the same thing targeted to slightly different audiences.

E! no longer has Joel McHale, E! True Hollywood Story, Joan Rivers or anything worth watching unless you're Keeping Up With The Cardassians

Infomercials aren't even worth watching anymore on Sunday afternoons without Ron Popeil or Billy Mays.

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☝️ Exactly.

I get that things change & whatever pulls in advertising dollars is what these companies have to show.

However, it's easier than ever to access the libraries of the "classics" (or at least what we deem the classics to be), so hopefully the rights holders, streaming services & carriers can find creative ways to deliver that content to the viewer. I'd GLADLY pay to have all of that consolidated.

(And how lazy do I sound? Sure, I can watch Seinfeld anytime I want via Hulu or the DVDs, yet here I am whining that TBS doesn't show it anymore during the evenings. Like it's soooooo difficult to push a couple of extra buttons on my remote to pull them up.)

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I've had the a la carte though for decades! Of course, big cable won't split it up, although I think Sling tried to offer something like that. 

Now it seems your best bet is to subscribe to some select streaming services and use them on a device that allows you to stream everything in one place. There are also some good, free streaming sites like Crackle, Tubi TV and from what I hear, Pluto TV.

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2 hours ago, StormSurge said:

☝️ Exactly.

I get that things change & whatever pulls in advertising dollars is what these companies have to show.

However, it's easier than ever to access the libraries of the "classics" (or at least what we deem the classics to be), so hopefully the rights holders, streaming services & carriers can find creative ways to deliver that content to the viewer. I'd GLADLY pay to have all of that consolidated.

(And how lazy do I sound? Sure, I can watch Seinfeld anytime I want via Hulu or the DVDs, yet here I am whining that TBS doesn't show it anymore during the evenings. Like it's soooooo difficult to push a couple of extra buttons on my remote to pull them up.)

My other complaint: Netflix keeps removing all of my movies and shows. Netflix has gone from the replacement for Blockbuster to wanting to be its own channel. I like Stranger Things and a few other shows. But what was once a $7/mo. commitment for unlimited movies and TV has now shattered into $11/mo. for kinda sorta some stuff that I might want to watch, but if I want all the stuff I used to have I need to get Hulu, Amazon Prime and everything else. When did TV become a car payment?

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2 hours ago, Justin said:

My other complaint: Netflix keeps removing all of my movies and shows. Netflix has gone from the replacement for Blockbuster to wanting to be its own channel. I like Stranger Things and a few other shows. But what was once a $7/mo. commitment for unlimited movies and TV has now shattered into $11/mo. for kinda sorta some stuff that I might want to watch, but if I want all the stuff I used to have I need to get Hulu, Amazon Prime and everything else. When did TV become a car payment?

Yeah, I hear you, and it's going to be worse once Disney leaves Netflix. But personally, just between Tubi, Netflix and Prime ( I forgot to include that), I have more than enough to watch. Prime has Highlander the TV series & the Dukes of Hazzard. Netflix has the first set of Star Trek shows ( I'm watching Next Gen) MST3K and Twilight Zone. And Tubi has Starcade, more MST3K, Super Mario/Captain N, and a good selection of movies including cheesy old sci fi movies like Gamera.

I suppose if you want to have all your favorites legally in one place, you either have to get them on physical media our give someone like Amazon or Google Play some $.

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I think one of the best ways to watch "TV" is to get SlingTV.  All you need is internet access and then you pay to have the channels that you want.  So, instead of paying for 100's of useless TV channels, you can select the ones you want for a fraction of the cost of cable or satellite.  Unless those services start learning, they will lose to these streaming providers.  I find myself watching less and less regular TV and more and more streamed content. 

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I've probably mentioned it before, but my wife and I have been stuck with cable for a while.  We live in a valley, and it's really hard to get any OTA signals.  At the same time, we have two choices for high speed internet...cable or DSL.  We use cable, and it's just a tiny add on cost to get the TV service in addition to internet.  So that's what we do.  I'd love to cut the cord.  And as soon as we see a good "long-term" DSL offer, we probably will. 

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