Friday, October 22, 2010

To watch Simon Cowell or not to watch Simon Cowell

Photo courtesy of
Rodolfo Belloli 

Google TV, Apple TV, Boxee and others are offering a way to watch Internet content on our living room TV's. I jumped on this bandwagon early on and cancelled my cable subscription some 3 years ago. But that may be a little radical for most people. No more live sports, no more reality TV and no more Idols-alikes. One person's boon is another person's bad dream.

For now, Internet-TV will be complementary to normal TV instead of a replacement for the majority of people. This may change as soon as the major players in the main stream TV world start dumping their - in my view - trash on the Internet. And that will happen. How could Simon Cowell resist being part of the largest network humanity has ever seen?

And yet, could it be that the mixing of the waters could bring forth a wondrous elixir? Could it be that due to the freedom which is - still - inherently part of the make up of the Internet, there is going to be room for content that caters to more than just the lowest common denominator?

Already there are shows that are commercially viable which buck the commercial trend. Look at the shows on Leo Laporte's network. They cater to a niche audience and they are commonly one and half or two hours long. Shows like that would never survive on regular commercial networks (indeed TechTV did not). Yet the shows make enough money for Leo Laporte to build a company on them.

The one important factor in all this is freedom. As long as the Internet remains free from government interference, as long as the large media companies do not take hold of the Internet wholesale, there will be a chance for 'traditional' and 'quirky' to live together.

I do not see overall Internet governance happen any time soon. If only because of the vast amount of hackers that will find loop holes in any regulatory technology governing bodies may throw into the fray. I foresee a bright future where Simon Cowell may be available on my living room TV but where I have enough alternatives to not have to watch his vitriolic, public scamming, mainstream bilge.

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