I saw that headline on an article somewhere, the premise being that people who downloaded a torrent of the show rather than actually watch it on television brought the ratings down sufficiently to cause its cancellation.
**-----> **I don’t necessarily want to debate that question itself. It’s certainly possible; but there’s no way to know. I myself watched every single episode the next night on Hulu —a website that legitimately had the right to carry the show one day later, with commercials— because I don’t own a TV and don’t have cable TV service. But I loooved it, and I was sorry to see it go.
What I want to discuss hopefully is the paradigm itself. I can’t even stand to watch broadcast TV because the proportion of commercials to actual content is just way over the top these days, it’s ridiculous. It’s approaching half of every hour. I’m sure that a big reason among the variety of reasons people download torrents of TV shows, is that many others feel the same way.
So, what if we just become unwilling to put up with the level of advertising we are forced to endure today? Remember, the original idea of “pay television” was that you wouldn’t have to put up with commercials at all! People at the time that cable TV was introduced were like, “Why should I pay for something I can get for free?” And the cable stations said, well, no commercials. Remember?
What other ways could we do things? Is it possible at all to do away with commercial interruptions, and still have a viable system that works?
Would it work if, say, monthly cable fees were double? Or if there was a two-tier fee system, one with commercials, one without? Or will advertisers never give up their stranglehold on the vast captive audience of television viewers?