The Long and Winding Road : TV schedule ? Yeah, right!

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Liverpool

TV schedule? Yeah, right!

I was made to feel very old and crumbly this weekend by my teenage son, perhaps not the worst thing a teenage son can do to a parent, I grant you, but it made me think. This past weekend was a holiday weekend whichever side of the ‘pond’ you were on. In the USA it was Memorial weekend and in the UK it was a ‘Bank Holiday’ weekend. The notion of banks having a holiday is an anathema to me as they hardly open their doors anyway but that’s another gripe for another time!

As you may well have realised, I live in Liverpool at present and this weekend saw the 175th anniversary of the Cunard shipping line which culminated in all three of the fleet visiting Liverpool and about 1.5 million people having a good time on the waterfront. If you are from Liverpool you are acutely aware of the part the sea has played in the history of the city. Liverpool played a major role in the slave trade, about 3 million Irish immigrants left Liverpool bound for the USA , the last act of the American Civil War took place on the Mersey…oh , I could go on!

Seeing 380,000 tonnes of ship sitting in your city’s river does not happen every day but on Monday the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth of the Cunard Line were all berthed neatly side by side in front of an adoring mass of people. The sheer magnitude of these vessels is breathtaking and the significance of the event in maritime history is major. As I stood on the plinth of a floodlight on top of the parking ramp’s 14th floor getting a spectacular view of these three ‘Queens’ sailing up the Mersey my teenage son uttered his sobering words…

“It’s just three ships, what’s all the fuss about?!”

I went from being daring, vital and emotional to feeling like a big loser standing on a tall building.

You may be wondering how this has got anything to do with TV schedules, I don’t blame you!

My son’s, oh so carefully chosen, words made me think and ask myself a serious question.

“ If this doesn’t float their boat, what does?” When we got home I asked him to tell me how he spends his time entertaining himself if history such as this is such a turn off. I reminded him that he was in the generation which happily queues through the night to buy the latest smartphone in a marketing frenzy manipulated by dreams of what might be…. that didn’t go down too well.

What happened next has really blown my mind and even though last week I spoke of the big ‘switch off’ where people are dumping terrestrial TV and traditional programming, I must confess I had little idea that my own son was as active in that movement as anybody. I asked him to make a list of all the online video channels he watches regularly ( brave man, what would he tell me!!!). Much to my surprise he gave me a list of 66 , yes 66 channels that he subscribes to. Mostly he watches science, gaming, tech and humour channels, much to my relief his time spent on the stuff any parent would cringe at seems negligible. I then asked him to give me a list of ALL the traditional TV shows he watches regularly…there were 5, yes 5.

I rest my case.

While we may think that our culture and attitude to life is largely influenced by what is ‘on TV’ we must acknowledge that for many people, especially the young, traditional TV is as relevant to them as 3 big ships visiting a port at the same time.

Where next?

Well, if you are in the business of producing content for the masses, you could do a lot worse than to understand the staggering potential of good quality programming which lives, breathes and develops solely on the internet. Whether that content is audio or video the market is there waiting to be entertained and educated…..what are you waiting for?

see you on the long and winding road……. Patrick

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