I’ve never been much for awards shows on TV, but most years until recently, I did catch at least part of the Emmys.
I didn’t watch a single moment last Sunday night. According to TV Guide’s online site, I had plenty of company.
The website reported that the show drew just 6.9 million viewers to Fox, making it the least-watched ceremony in the history of the show — 32 percent lower than 2018, the previous viewership low.
Part of the reason may be that not a single award went to a program from broadcast television. If all of the award-worthy shows are either on streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime or premium cable channels like HBO, why should a big audience be expected on traditional broadcast TV?
I have not been quick to embrace watching streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. Part of me misses the days when programming wasn’t so spread out and audiences, at least for big moments, watched the same things and talked about them (actually talked, not texted or tweeted) at work the next morning.
An estimated 106 million people watched the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983, according to The Washington Post. That’s still the record for a TV episode. It’s been beaten only once. The 2010 Super Bowl, won by the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Saints, had about a half-million more viewers.
By comparison, according to CNN Business, the recent final episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” drew a series record of 19.3 million viewers — roughly 18 percent of the M*A*S*H finale.
That’s how things are now, as the ever-increasing choices divide and subdivide audiences.
It occurs to me that my slow adoption of streaming services is similar to how my parents reacted to the dawn of cable TV.
Growing up in New York City, we had the three network stations — CBS (Channel 2), NBC (Channel 4) and ABC (Channel 7). We also had three independent channels that largely ran kids shows, old movies, and reruns — Channels 5, 9 and 11 — as well as educational Channel 13. Who needed more?
Then, suddenly, there was ESPN, CNN, and a wide array of other stations from which to choose. Just as suddenly came the previously unknown concept of paying for TV.
My parents initially resisted. Eventually, they went for it and liked it. Turned out my Mom loved the Turner Classic Movies channel.
I’m guessing I may well make the same adjustment to watching — and paying for — streaming services.
In a way, making that change would be kind of like how a growing number of Daily Item readers are embracing our web and smartphone platforms for news and information in larger numbers than the traditional print newspaper ever had. With 80,000-plus page views each day, we’re reaching more readers than ever.
Change is never easy. But if you haven’t yet I encourage you to check out our website and app and take advantage of all we offer there.
In addition to all the latest local news updates, Valley scholastic sports results, etc., we offer cool features like “Keeping the Beat,” our Valley music podcast, “One on One,” our newsmaker interview program and our new “First and Big Ten” college football podcast. You’re missing some cool stuff that all comes at no extra charge to your normal subscription price.
It’s a great deal!
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