Not Yet the Post-TV Era: Network and MVPD Adaptation to Emergent Distribution Technologies

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Not Yet the Post-TV Era: Network and MVPD Adaptation to Emergent Distribution Technologies


  • Mike Van Esler Department of Film and Media Studies, University of Kansas, USA


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Abstract:  Television as a medium is in transition. From DVRs, to Netflix, to HBO Now, consumers have never before had such control over how they consume televisual content. The rapid changes to the medium have led to rhetoric heralding the impending “post-TV era.” Looking at the ways that legacy television companies have adapted to new technologies and cultural practices suggests that rather than traditional television going the way of radio, television as a medium is actually not terribly different, at least not enough to conclude that we have entered a new era. Press releases, discursive practices by the news media, corporate structures and investments, and audience research all point to the rhetoric of post-TV as being overblown. By thinking about contemporary television as being in transition, greater emphasis and attention can be placed on the role that major media conglomerates play in developing, funding, and legitimizing new forms of television distribution, in addition to co-opting disruptive technologies and business models while hindering others.

Keywords:  convergence; hulu; Netflix; networks; over-the-top; streaming; television

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v4i3.548


© Mike Van Esler. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.