Thursday, July 10, 2008

"You're going to make it after all!"

Despite being 38 years late to the party, The Mary Tyler Moore Show is officially one of my "shows." I find myself watching it every chance I get - all thanks to

Now, since I am a student of Television, I can say that I have previewed a bit of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and most certainly understand its importance from a historical and academic point of view, but all that aside, it is just a really good show. And to quote my favorite professor - "it really holds up!" has tapped into something that is important when assessing the current Internet video landscape - old TV shows. Think about it, if the random computer user went onto Google and typed in The Mary Tyler Moore Show today they would get a link to access which in turn would take them to 3 complete seasons of the program - all for free and all legal. Besides it being legit, it is also so easy to use and it's design is attractive.

Back in March of 2007, NBC Universal and News Corp announced a partnership to create a website that would allow users to view quality content for free. This ad supported site would include popular television programs as well as full length feature films. Finally in October 2007, the beta site for launched and there were rave reviews! Today many still find Hulu to be the out in front favorite for streaming TV content despite the fact that not all of the major networks have climbed aboard. Despite that fact if you type in a CBS program such as Swingtown Hulu will direct you to the website.

The other cool thing about is that you can embed entire episodes onto your own website (see below!) Also, if I wanted to tell you about a particular portion of the show, allows me to pare down the show and embed just that portion. Again, pretty cool.

But really for me, the best part is all the shows on I love that there old shows on there that I can watch whenever and wherever I want. I mean, honestly, where else can I (with a conscious - i.e. not stealing/pirating) watch an episode of The Dick van Dyke Show, Alf or The Office, I can just go to

Admittedly, I've stumbled upon this site because of my research project, however, with the lackluster summer TV lineup I found myself last night watching a couple of episodes of MTM Show despite the fact that a Food Network Challenge (Birthday Cake Surprise) was on my TV.

Which brings me to the big question in this hodgepodge of a post - Are people more inclined to watch reruns online rather than new (yet fluffier) summer fare on their TVs? Well, if the chart from is any indication, perhaps this is the case.

In this graph we see the four major networks websites compared with As a researcher, I cannot in good faith make ANY conclusions about this except to say that traffic has increased in the last few months since the season finales aired. The graph is comparing the network websites not the viewership of the television networks themselves. That said, I'm wondering if because the content on the TV channels is not garnering interest, the same rolls over to the websites and therefore, online viewers who usually watch their shows from the network homepages are not doing so as much when their shows were in season. Whereas, the viewers are remaining steady. What would be more interesting is if the line increased at the same rate that the others decreased. That is not the case here, obviously.

So, these are some of the things I've been thinking about today. Enjoy and be sure to let me know what you think. In the coming week I'll be discussing more about the various online destinations for TV content as well as places for original web content. It is truly amazing (also exhausting) to know how many options there are out there!

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