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En avance25/05/2006 - par Mark Tungate
As I write this piece, media buyers in the United States are in the middle of the « upfront » buying period, when all the crucial ad breaks for the coming season are sold in advance. This is the time when the TV channels roll out their shiny new shows and concepts in order to convince advertisers to continue pouring dollars into TV rather than defecting to the Internet. TV executives say things like : « Our new show is like the spawn of Father of the Bride and 24. »
Today, the time when television did not have a shadowy competitor seems like ancient history. Now, it seems, even TV companies are wondering whether the Web is a more effective medium. A recent article in the New York Times pointed out that when US broadcaster ABC offered episodes of Desperate Housewives and Lost as video streams on its website, abc.com, they were watched two million times in the first two weeks. Journalists also attended an upfront presentation by a new broadcaster called My Network TV, which will produce content specifically for the Web (mynetworktv.com).
The Internet offers an extra benefit for TV companies when it comes to interactive TV advertising. Right now, when a viewer clicks on a TV star's shirt in order to buy it, the TV companies are forced to give a cut of the cash to cable and satellite owners. But on the Web, they'll get to keep everything. Enjoy your TV set while you can - in a couple of year's time, it will have been replaced by a computer.