Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why don't TV networks advertise their competitors' shows?

Here's my random thought for today: why don't TV networks ever promote their competitor's shows?

Now I'm sure you're thinking that's one of the most stupid ideas you've heard lately. And it probably is, but it's not quite as stupid as it sounds.

The potential audience for any particular show is people who would otherwise watch another free or pay TV channel and people who otherwise wouldn't watch TV at that time at all.

Consider a deal where two networks ran three ads for a show on the other network. If successful, they'd take viewers from each other - but they should roughly cancel each other out - and, importantly, they'd also take viewers from other networks not in on the deal as well as people who would otherwise wouldn't have watched TV at all on that timeslot.

They should both win from such a deal. It should grow both their markets.

So why do you think we don't we ever see it?


Anonymous said...

Maybe they are all paranoid that they have the worser shows and so would lose out in such a deal.

Anonymous said...

If tv networks cross advertised, why should it be expected that they would take equal numbers of audience from each other? And i don't see how the networks would be able to take viewers from other networks that aren't cross advertising, since the viewers would not be watching either channel. But i guess the most important argument against that idea is that networks hate channel surfers and encourage viewers to stay on the same channel, other network advertising would snap a lot of viewers out of thier viewing bubble.