For someone who loves technology, especially the convenience that the DVR brings, I definitely watch a lot of live television. An addict of Twitter, I love watching events and watching my stream light up with comments, jokes and discussion around what we just saw. Broncos games in particular have me hitting “refresh” on my laptop frantically during the whole game.
On last week’s Vergecast, they had a fascinating discussion on this very topic: the relationship between social networks (particularly Twitter) and TV. They both need each other: Twitter needs to be validated by other businesses, while TV Networks need to give viewers an incentive for people to watch live and immediately participate in the conversation. It seems that every TV program (or commercial for that matter) is flashing a hashtag or a Twitter name of a personality.
So why the hell does CBS still insist to tape delay live broadcasts? Two nights ago they aired the Grammys, and while I was watching 60 MInutes my Twitter stream started blowing up with reactions from those watching it in the Eastern and Central time zones. When the Grammys finally started at 7pm in Mountain Time, my stream became a complete mess, with people reacting to stuff taking place live, now with us in Mountain time reacting to our events. By the time our friends in the west join in, Twitter is just a cluster at this point.
This wouldn’t bother me so much, except for the fact that CBS and the Grammys disingenuously feature Tweets as a part of their show. Every time LL Cool J came back from a commercial he would read some random (and often crappy) Tweets, with the half the country being denied the opportunity to participate.
I don’t understand why the Grammys and CBS don’t get it. The Oscars are broadcast live and everyone manages to watch it. Aside from the Olympics (which still don’t get it), sports are always carried live and people manage to watch them. Don’t sit there and pretend you’re inviting us to be part of the social media conversation, then turn around and slam the door on half of your viewers. CBS: why don’t you join us in the 21st century and get with the program?