I want my .TV – until I forget what a TV is.

Zane Bundy ⬥ 20 May

TBS and TNT announced this week that they’ll be streaming online, and ABC announced that it’s offering unaired episodes online of the sitcom ““Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23”. Which lead me to wonder… why aren’t these channels streaming on .TV?

Isn’t .TV the most logical, intuitive cyber home for television channels? How come the networks didn’t jump to apply for this generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) ?

Oh, right – because the islands of Tuvalu, a Polynesian nation,”owns” the country code Top Level Domain or ccTLD (it essentially turned .TV over to a VeriSign company in 2002).  And, while anyone can register a second-level domain in .TV, it just isn’t quite the same as having a whole .TV just for traditional channels or 24-hour streaming of a single series, is it?

Of course, as time passes, television itself could become obsolete; kids today are already watching shows on both traditional television sets AND wireless devices. By the time the next generation rolls around, television ‘sets’ may have gone the way of the record player.

Whether and how we’ll move from watching television to watching wireless devices is not the only behavioral shift in entertainment: Online streaming lends itself to different viewing patterns altogether since there’s no pre-set schedule and multiple episodes are made available at once. The producers of the online versions of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” recently realized this and reduced the rate at which episods were released (because, presumably, people preferred to watch more than one episode in a sitting but couldn’t watch as many in one sitting as was required to keep up with the four-episode a week pace).

Netflix’s release of its original series “House of Cards”, starring Kevin Spacey, seemed to deliberately exploit the back-to-back viewing trend when it released all 13 episodes of the first season at once. LA Biz called this ‘binge viewing’ (which certainly resonates with 20 and 30 somethings whose college experiences notoriously involve binge … imbibing).

Even with clear examples of how we’re moving from TV to streaming, CNN Money insists that we’re not as close to ditching our televisions as we think, warning “before you start cutting your cord, know that true online TV isn’t quite here — not yet, anyway.”

Tags: ABC, ccTLDs, CNN Money, country code Top Level Domain, gTLDs, House of Cards, LA Biz, Netflix, online streaming, online TV, TBS, TNT, Tuvalu, VeriSign

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