Slowly but surely, television networks are starting to understand new media. They get that there are other places than the TV where people want to watch their favorite shows, and they are finally starting to come up with ways to bring TV to the Internet. Hulu is a great example of television networks “getting it” by offering premium content from Fox, NBC, MGM, Sony, and others, online for free. The President of Time Warner “gets” it as well. Bruce Rosemblum was quoted in the New York Times saying, “My 20 year-old daughter and her friends are watching “One Tree Hill” and “Pushing Daisies” but not on television.” He continued, “They’re watching on laptops and cellphones. Here’s the interesting part – to them, that is television.”
Time Warner gets new media enough that they’re about to embrace it. Remember The WB? It was a television network here in the United States that launched back in 1995 and had hit shows like Dawson’s Creek and 7th Heaven in the early days and Gilmore Girls, Smalville, and Everwood more recently. Despite being successful for many years, they slowly started to decline in viewership and on September 17, 2006, the WB was shutdown. Well, it’s coming back. Yes, the WB will be back but this time around it’s coming back as a website.
The New York Times was the first to report the news, and they explained that there will be two different sites, TheWB.com and KidsWB.com which will cater to different audiences. TheWB.com will be playing episodes of Gilmore Girls, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, and other shows like re-runs of Friends and The O.C. All of the shows will be free, but will be ad-supported, and in general, they will cater to the 16-34 year old demographic. The WB websites won’t just be about TV shows, they’re also going to experiment with “made-for-Internet video series.”
Another promising bit of information to come from all of this is that Time Warner said that it was “reasonable to expect that content would be shared with other sites, and shows from other studios could appear on TheWB.com.” Wouldn’t it be great if all of the television networks could come together to share their shows with one another? Even better would be if there was one central site where all of the networks placed their shows and each network was responsible for their own advertising. That way there wouldn’t have to be multiple sites that users had to keep track of, and the networks wouldn’t have to argue about the finances. A one-stop destination for quality TV shows on the Internet would be great, wouldn’t it?