Age of Intense Commercialization and Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Syndication, the power of networks like CBS and Viacom to relinquish and maintain their lesser competition like UPN through hackneyed reruns, was officially undercut by the age of in the internet, which saw middle school and college-age music junkies successfully distribute media for free online, en masse. The network era of the 1960s and 70s was one of the rerun empire, but the cyclical liberty provided by a wired audience forced TV networks to find new programming and reshape the "ancillary afterlife" of well-loved shows in the digital epoch. As a result, four major changes by purposeful agents to syndication directly preempted the death of the television at the hands of new media.

The first of these changes was a reanalysis of the "shelf life" of a program. While syndication remains an important aspect of the media world, it was been forced to mix reruns with a "collage" of marketing campaigns that target international audiences. Exemplary of the global marketplace transformation is the attraction of the Latin American audience to the Acapulco Heat and Baywatch fads of previous years of domestic success. Likewise, at home, the shelf-life for more nefarious productions, like the V.I.P series of Pamela Anderson, was given "new" legs by marketing directly to the demographic. Secondly, studios and companies throughout Hollywood began to see their archives as a "legacy." Technologically advanced archivists reformatted, reframed, and re-famed old shows, providing a wealth of old footage for new uses. Networks used their syndication rights as legal power tools, making "sweetheart" deals to reaffirm their market share. That power, the third driving force to change, was augmented by the combination of programming repurposing and migrating content to the benefit of the studio house.

TV executives were able to analyze the holdouts online to watch for successful business trends in the changing seas of media; notably, the similar strategies of Bill Gates to create, own, and remarket a very specific idea - to him, software; to TV, content. The rhetorical shift was egged on by the up-to-the-minute demand of the hyper-wired audience; "news" was no longer new after it had been published by online media sources, as a result, the standard footage demanded by TV had to meet the same standards of perpetual birth, evidenced in news network schemes for CNN's Live From and MSBNC's Up to the Minute, Every 15 Minutes motto. While the news cycle remains very consistent from update to update, the conception and marketing power NBC exhibited by portraying the update as "new" maintained a vital sphere of branding control over their market share.

While television was forced to step up to the metaphorical plate to keep up with digital media, it cemented its success at the forefront of advertising and marketing prowess: it is still the best way to sell a product. What Caldwell calls an obsession with advertising, sponsorship, and programming yielded the very specific result of commercial superiority. Combined with the addition of ancillary channels and online-websites that provide the viewer a new interactivity with television, particularly through the very new power of the blogosphere, TV remains at the helm of the media ship. Instead of faltering during the high-tech boom, it revamped the broadband network it already had in place and surpassed the internet with a stable reputation, tradition in American homes, and critically incorporated new media. Instead of rejecting the internet, TiVo, and other new infrastructure as an intimidating new competitor, successful television executives in the 1990s maintained their stronghold on media by changing themselves in the era of transition context.

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