Historically, the fight over displaying network TV content on the internet has been about where,
when, who and how to exhibit it AFTER it plays on television. Well, now Tina Fey/Liz Lemon/ Sarah Palin has turned that argument on its head.
Lately, Tina Fey has been everywhere between her AMEX commercials, Emmy awards for 30 Rock and, of course, her spot-on Sarah Palin impression. Unfortunately, what NBC WANTS her to be known for is the critically acclaimed, but ratings challenged, 30 Rock. The momentum she has built up is, quite literally, historic. Online and DVR viewership was twice what it was for the original showing on Saturday Night Live.
Among all the people who saw at least one of the three SNL sketches, 33% watched it on television during the original broadcast and a staggering 67% watched after the original broadcast either online or on a DVR. (By the way, 56% of those who saw the SNL spoof never actually watched the ACTUAL Biden-Palin debate. Insert wry comment here _______) (Source: Online Media Daily)
“This is the first time we’ve seen delayed viewing numbers this big,” said Amanda Welsh, head of research for San Mateo, Calif.-based IMMI. “Usually it’s the other way around, with the overwhelming majority of viewing occurring during the actual broadcast.”
Of course, NBC had no way of knowing all of this when they programmed their fall schedule, and 30 Rock is not slated to return to the airwaves until Ocotber 30. What to do? What to do?
Hey, how about that online video thingy? Yup- NBC will be premiering the first episode of the new season on Hulu.com on October 23, one week before its scheduled TV debut. Hulu has been an unqualified success, and NBC is showing some smarts by taking advantage of changing viewing habits.
(By the way, 30 Rock is really funny, and NBC announced that Salma Hayek will have a recurring role this year.)