On a recent evening, my small children expressed their shock that to watch a show on network television, we had to be in front of the television at a pre-determined time. At their tender ages, they have become accustomed to Hulu, Netflix, and other web-based, on-demand ways of watching television shows without adhering to a schedule.
Studies indicate that this move away from watching television shows on the screen when they first air is not a simple trend. In fact more people are beginning to use the internet for their television needs daily. This move begs the question: is television scheduling becoming a concept for a communications museum?
When television first was available to a large number of people, there were no set shows. Older folks talk of turning on their television and waiting in the hopes that a show would come on. Slowly, evening news became a standard, and information important to our society was available to most people on a nightly basis.
Eventually television executives realized that they could sell more advertising by having schedules so that people would know when to tune in. This concept of random television shows is an idea now suitable for communications history now as few people remember those days.
The use of the internet to disseminate information is making scheduling now look like a thing of the past. If one misses a show, there are no worries about what happened. It is easy enough to log onto the internet in the next 12 hours and see the show re-run. Typically one can see these shows with fewer”or even no “commercials and have the option to start and stop as they please.
Given this advent, it is no wonder that television scheduling soon will belong in a museum as an anomaly in the entertainment world.