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NBC reveals its intentions in name of new “NBC Direct” service. They want to eliminate local TV affiliates as middlemen, go directly to viewers. 9/20/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Local affiliates, Middlemen, NBC.

Considering the “NBC Direct” name that Corporate gave them to work with, the spin doctors at NBC did a fine job spinning this AP reporter into a tizzy, thus sparing the network’s local affiliates a very well-justified panic. NBC is allowing viewers to download fresh episodes of primetime programming free for up to a week. If you want to know what in God’s green Earth this has to do with competing against iTunes, you’ll have to ask the aforementioned reporter. But, “NBC Direct” means exactly what it says. Viewers will now be able to get fresh programming directly from NBC, eliminating the middleman — local affiliates. All embedded ads will generate revenues for the network, not local affiliates. Downloading on-demand even makes TiVo unnecessary, which might leave the affiliates pining for the days when their broadcasts were recorded, even though many viewers fast-forwarded right through their local ads.

NBC’s affiliates will not see the impact overnight for a variety of reasons — e.g. the inferiority of lean-forward PC viewing vs. lean-back TV viewing, download speeds, user hardware limitations, etc. But all these hurdles will be swept away in a short number of years. So, if you work for a local affiliate, let me be direct — drop everything and develop much more original content like hyperlocal news now, before it is too late.


1. meltaylor - 9/21/07


maybe the most important part of your post is the phrase: “affiliates will not see the impact overnight…”

this will allow those charged with hitting their monthly budgets, to conduct business as usual.

much like what happended to newspapers, the record labels, etc…….this slow, steady, deadly, “just under the radar” phenomenon will soon reach a tipping point. one where local, non O&O tv stations will have to build all new business models.

they might as well start now……but most won’t

2. friends tv show - 10/14/07

As tv show downloads related subjects continue to increase in popularity, there will be more locations to learn more about this far-reaching matter.

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