Showbiz Sandbox 168: Why TV Audiences Abandoned Broadcast Networks

October 22, 2012


The start of the new television season has been a huge disappointment for broadcast networks with ratings down as much as 28% on Fox. Only NBC has seen an increase in viewership in key demos and after years of coming in fourth among networks, now finds itself bouncing back. Why have audiences abandoned broadcast television? Here’s a hint; it has to do with zombies.

Industry analysts fault lackluster new series and strong programming alternatives on cable for broadcast networks latest woes. We provide a rundown of which new shows might stick around for a while, those that might be put on hiatus and which have already gotten the ax.

If you paid to download any of this season’s new TV shows you may be interested to know that you are only licensing the right to view them and don’t actually own them outright. Two upcoming court cases may help resolve the issue, if they don’t wind up muddying the waters further.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including the new agreement between Dish and AMC, Beyonce’s new Super Bowl gig, and the end of Newsweek as a print magazine.


NBC Finds Itself in Unfamiliar Territory: On Top

‘Walking Dead’ Season 3 Premiere Shatters Basic Cable Ratings Record

Where Are The Hit TV Comedies

TNT Picks Up Frank Darabont’s ‘L.A. Noir’ to Series

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Total Recall’ Book Debuts to Soft Sales

Beyoncé to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show

Warner Bros. Wins Big Court Ruling in Fight Over Superman

AMC Networks, Dish Shares Rise to 52-Week Highs As Analysts Laud Legal Settlement

Newsweek to Cease Print Publication at End of Year

Sources: MGM Delays Potential $3 Billion IPO for ‘Skyfall,’ ‘Hobbit’ Releases (Exclusive)

Rolling Stone Chips Away at Paywall, A Little Archived Content Will Be Freely Available In New Artist Timelines

Hot Topic: Do Consumers Have A Right to Re-Sell Copies of Movies, Songs and Books?

Your Right To Resell Your Own Stuff Is In Peril


  • Mgiltz

    When I think of my current favorite shows, not one of them is on the major networks. The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Archer, Doctor Who and so on. All the shows I want to catch up with? Homeland, Boss, Sons Of Anarchy, Girls? Cable. Upcoming shows I’m excited about? Arrested Development, House Of Cards? Netflix. People are watching more tv than ever, just not on the Big Four.