They only agreed on one thing: the problem wasn’t the programming itself. Every show they put on the air was good. Their testing proves it. They concede that sometimes it’s hard for audiences to immediately connect with a show. For instance, not many people it seems are familiar with the concept of BINGO and might need a couple of viewings to pick it up. But once they do, wow, are they in for a wild ride!
These however, are the factors that have resulted in diminished ratings:
SUNSPOTS – Dark spots, some as large as 50,000 miles in diameter, move across the surface of the sun, contracting and expanding as they go. When they expand they tend to cause interference that effects reception, specifically during comedies.
McANGUS BURGERS – Consumers are spending more time in Mickey D’s enjoying this new sensation. As a result they’ve gotten out of the habit watching prime time television earlier. Networks are confident there will be enough blocked arteries to eventually reverse this trend.
NO WINTER OLYMPICS – Viewers flocked to this special event. Networks are concerned it’s only in the winter and only every four years. To rectify, they are considering THE FALL OLYMPICS for November and the SPRING OLYMPICS for May, and staging them annually. A February WORLD SERIES is also on the drawing board. Major League Baseball just has to be convinced it’s better to play the WORLD SERIES before the season. But knowing MLB, if you pay the owners enough they’ll agree to it.
CARS – It has always bothered the networks that viewers are distracted by having to watch the road. They are getting automakers to install more TV’s in cars and developing shows disguised as GPS systems.
TIVO – Viewers program their own “Wish Lists” and networks are realizing “George Lopez”, “Forced Single Camera Comedies”, “Katie Couric”, “Behind the Scenes at SNL”, “Complicated new dramas starring Kim Raver”, and “British Import Game Shows” are not on them.
JANET JACKSON – Her wardrobe malfunction at the Superbowl means Evagaline Lily and Elizabeth Vargas have to keep their clothes on.
YOUTUBE – Networks have discovered that viewers like their programs in two to five minute bytes. Trying to make that work to their advantage they’re experimenting with five minute shows coupled with 25 minutes of commercials and promos to fill a half hour. “Thinking outside the box” is how they’re putting it.
TIME WARNER CABLE – It’s down as often as it’s up.
EMMY CONSIDERATION DVD’s – Academy members would rather watch DVD’s of their favorite shows than the shows themselves. When reminded that Television Academy Members comprise only .000000000001% of the American public, networks are quick point out they’re the most important viewers.
PEOPLE HAVE LIVES – This threw the networks big time. They were shocked that viewers did not have seven-week attention spans and would focus on something else besides HEROES or JERICHO if they were on hiatus for two months.
And finally, the chief cause of viewer defection: