> The problem is that satellite doesn't usually carry subchannels, and cable generally carries them on a separate digital-only tier..
Thanks! I knew there must be a fly in the ointment. That's two.
> If you argue that the non immediate danger crawls and icons are not a viewer benefit
I didn't say they were no
benefit, just that they are a distraction that degrades the primary viewing experience, which in this technological age should not be necessary.
> ...you will need to argue with consultants and rating services that confirm such benefit.
So are you programming to suit consultants and rating services, or your viewers?
Maybe they're not even asking the right questions. I'm an actual viewer (ATM), and in my opinion, the OSG information is overused
. I don't know a huge number of folks who ARE OTA viewers, but from that small sample, I haven't found even one
that is happy with: a) the size of the OSG, b) the duration of their on-screen presence, c) their "obviousness" (it's going to: rain, snow, get cold, windy, etc.)
Also, IMO, with the amount of time these are overused (providing a constant "warning" about weather conditions), that does viewers a secondary disservice, by anesthetizing them to their presence
. If they were rarely there (only when needed) their presence would be taken note of. That's how it was when I was a kid, watching TV8. When a map went up, you paid attention.
But when they're always there (or seem that way), their presence gets ignored. Not ignored in the sense that they're not seen and resented, but in the sense that there's really nothing important enough to alert you to something you really OUGHT to know about (like, say, tornadoes
, for example).
If we can't move these off the primary viewing space, for reasons Trip was kind enough to point out above, in the meantime I'd like to see local broadcasters try to minimize their negative impact. Any subset of these suggestions would be well received by many viewers (at the very least, some of the vocal ones).
1) limit their presence to significant events (see list above on what to avoid)
2) run them only during commercial breaks (but then, that might not go over well with advertisers. You could inform them that "consultants and rating services
" confirm that viewers appreciate them.
3) keep the (seemingly) over-large size the same, for the benefit of those with small screens. Let's remember that the DTV transition didn't mean that everyone suddenly got a big-screen HDTV.
4) limit their on-screen time. If ad-breaks-only is not an option, pop them up for 30-seconds at a time... right after each commercial break. They really DON'T need to be on-screen 100% of the time.
Look... I know you guys were forced to spend a lot of $$$ for HD overlay generators, that you probably would just as happily kept in your pockets. It certainly wasn't a revenue generator for you. But trying to find reasons to overuse them, now that you've got them, isn't a good strategy. It wasn't my impression that the viewer-base for OTA broadcasters was so large and solid that you could afford to alienate any significant percentage of them, even if it were fairly small (which I'm not convinced it is).
People not only have other viewing options, they also have other sources to obtain the same program materials. I wouldn't think you'd want to give them any additional reasons to seek them out. But I've been wrong before. If you want to pi$$ viewers off, and drive them away, not listening to their concerns and responding in a meaningful way will be very effective. Trying to get them back again after they've left could well be impossible.
P.S. Thanks for participating here, TV8-Mike.