A recent Adweek article suggests that to combat time-shifted viewing, networks should consider promoting new shows on rival networks. Granted this is all food for thought since most network execs are reluctant to air promos encouraging viewers to switch channels. This kumbaya, teamwork approach isn’t plausible because the networks don’t what to play nice, it’ll never happen because they fail to realize that viewers have evolved and are fully versed in contemporary TV-watching literacy. As the articles states, many of those in the industry, “believe viewers would be confused after decades of conditioning to look for a new show solely on the network where they saw it promoted.”
What? Confused? No!! Television viewing now mimics web-surfing habits. With DVRs and the detailed on-screen guides and menus that are customary with cable packages, people know how to search and find their programs. On that note, viewers are no longer confined to a handful or even a few dozen networks–they have HUNDREDS of channels and would probably opt to actively search for a program than to guess what network it’s on. If the popularity of Google has taught us anything, when people want information or clarity, they search. Those decades of conditioning have been undone. Audiences aren’t loyal to specific networks; they’re free to roam and watch shows however they want.