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Bad Economy Good for TV?; TV Guide thinks so
Topic Started: Oct 22 2008, 02:15 AM (354 Views)
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Rough economic economy could mean a boost in the TV Ratings.

As money gets tight, more people are likely to hang out at home in front of their TV set. "Historically, people do flock to entertainment," says Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly. "It will probably be good for us. There's a lot of good, free programming in your living room every night."

The downturn may also offer a break to struggling shows that need some patience and nurturing. Networks will think twice about canceling a ratings-challenged series since any programming change allows advertisers to get their money back if they don't want their commercials to run during a replacement show.

For pay television the murky outlook may be trickier to navigate. Families will keep cable Tv when even when looking to cut their budgets, but some may decide to save a few bucks by scaling back on specific pay channels. In the second quarter of 2008, HBO experienced a slight decline in subscribers--the premium-cable networks first such drop since the last major recession in the early 90's.

A prolonged economic downturn will also delay the arrival of new futuristic gadgetry that promise to combine TV viewing and the Web in your cable box. "Some of the technological rollout that may have really transformed the TV business is going to be slowed down now, " says Reilly. "There's not going to be funding, and the consumer is not going to have the discretionary income to pay for it."
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