What New TV Networks Look Like

It’s a TV network. There, I’ve said it. I watched a few shows, briefly. It isn’t a very good TV network, but that’s beside the point.

I can’t tell you why, but I was drawn to the Revision3 website last night. The site has gotten lots of buzz in the tech community, but in case you haven’t looked:

Revision3 is the first media company that gets it, born from the Internet, on-demand generation. Unlike aggregators, mash-ups, and user-generated video sites, Revision3 is an actual TV network for the web, creating and producing its own original, broadcast quality shows.

It’s a TV network. There, I’ve said it. I watched a few shows, briefly. It isn’t a very good TV network. My opinion is probably affected by the fact it’s not a TV network aimed at me.

The cost of entry and distribution is low compared to traditional networks and stations. That makes profitability much easier to reach. The bad news for Revision3 and its brethren is, unlike traditional stations and networks, access for competitors is just as cheap. If there’s money to be made there will be lots of competition.

Of course outfits like this will continue to eat away at the traditional broadcasters (and each other) a tiny nibble at a time. What they lack in reach they will make up for with persistence over time.

5 thoughts on “What New TV Networks Look Like”

  1. On a related topic, how long do you think it will be until the first local Connecticut news is broadcast in HD? Then after that, how long until the others scramble to keep up?

  2. Another one of note is current.com, which also has a cable broadcast version, available on most comcast lineups…but is limited more to news & cultural stories. Nicely put together with many interesting features and slick “web 2.0” look/feel.

    They describe themselves as “the world’s leading peer-to-peer news and information network. Current is the only 24/7 cable and satellite television network and Internet site produced and programmed in collaboration with its audience.”

    It’s an interesting concept, and for what I’ve seen of it, it works well.

    btw, Al Gore is co-founder & chairman, so it’s well funded.

  3. Gary – a friend of mine works at Current, and has been there pretty much since it started up. I was in San Francisco a couple years ago and got to visit him at work and see their setup. It’s very impressive. They may not outlive their competition, but they should go down in history as pioneering this next wave of broadcasting, where the line between viewer producer is blurred to the point of oblivion. It’s pretty cool.

  4. I don’t know how close any of the stations are to HD. I’m not sure how important it is for local news.

    One of the people I work with was a big fan of Current, so I tried hard to enjoy it, but didn’t. Some of the pods are very good, but the content and production values are all over the place. This might have a lot to do with me being way out of the target demographic.

  5. For user submitted content, it’s not as bad as I expected. This kind of integration between web and broadcast is an idea I find appealing because I think they’ve done it right. As a side note, one of my largest clients is an intenet radio site, so I’m kinda biased on this topic.

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