The Future of Linear TV and Being Present

The Future of Linear TV and Being Present

The Future of Linear TV and Being Present inexorably linked? It’s far enough away from the new year for all those resolutions to start failing! Have you been writing journals, meditating, and giving thanks during your brain dump? Yes, the idea of being present is big business, an app-driven online antidote to overusing social media and drifting off into a virtual unreality of detachment. Always ironic that 90% of the marketing for these journals, even the paper ones, are all through social media!
What has The Future of Linear TV and Being Present got to do with each other? There was a fascinating article in Broadcast LINK setting out the move to an online-only future and if and when we switch off linear TV for good. 

BBC director general Tim Davie laid out the future of TV at an RTS event on 7 December last year, at least in BBC terms. The DG warned the market will shift towards an internet-first future by 2030, leading to switching off many linear TV and radio channels.
“A switch-off of broadcast will and should happen over time, and we should be active in planning for it,” he said. Furthermore, he added: “We are working on how an online BBC could be the best version of the BBC, shaped around people’s interests and needs – a daily partner to your life, bringing the BBC together in a single offer with personalised combinations.”

As a lover of live directing, I hope, actually I know, there will always be a place for live as-it-happens content, even if it is delivered over the internet as a live stream. I know from my show Good Game Asia that streaming is a part of the esports gaming and lifestyle vlogging ecosystem.

I want to go more into the philosophical argument for linear TV. Television schedules have long timetabled our lives. I recall the rush home twice a week to catch Blue Peter and reports of empty streets as the final episode of the original prime suspect was shown. 

I predicted event TV or an appointment to view TV at a talk and the Royal Institute many years ago. At the time, I thought live entertainment was critical to broadcasters’ future in a growing social media presence. The idea of FOMO, I have a new acronym, FOSMS, Fear Of Social Media Spoilers, i.e. if you don’t watch Love Island, all your friends will be talking about the latest bombshell of dumping. So we timetable our lives, making space for the event, which we can share with friends and family in real time.

When the Queen’s died, we all came together on TV to share the experience with wall-to-wall live coverage on all the channels. This week we all share the grief of a family enduring the nightmare of a missing person. It is an event the whole country seems to be talking about; although one of my disconnected children walked into a news broadcast this morning oblivious to the story,

This brings me to the connection—the idea of being present. Should we all be present as we go through the current strife of strikes by essential services, government scandals, and the war in Ukraine? Isn’t that what linear TV brings us? Even while watching recording programmes, there’s still a feeling that we could get a “we interrupt this programme” announcement. We are present and connected. There’s also a practical consideration; it is easier to hack the internet that an entire broadcast network.

So is linear TV coming to an end? Are we going to see the delivery of linear TV through the internet? Given the security issue, should we maintain digital broadcasting? Is there a new technology that can deliver this as a backup to the internet?

Then there’s the social angle of the structure—the timetabling of our lives. We eat and then sit down to “Strictly” or revise until 9 when we chill watching “Love Island.” Meals and eating together have passed as typical times to be present in family life. Some families can unite around sporting events.

How will the demise of linear timetabled TV impact our ability to be present? When first contact happens, where do we go to experience the landing? Suppose there is another pandemic; how do we all connect for those briefings, even if we return to social media to discuss? 

I suppose I am asking, “where is the community?” the conduit for community communication.

One hundred years ago, it was the BBC, one community for those able to afford a television.

Then D.E.R. gave us TV rentals, and mass access to TVs became a reality. It wasn’t long before big business cottoned on the captive nature of the audience, advertising became TV’s paymaster, and independent commercial broadcasting was born. We had two communities, BBC and ITV, and then other channels joined; other platforms came about through BSB and then Sky with yet more separated communities. However, there was a common thread in all these communities; they were on all the time and simultaneously. Next came the Streamers – Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney etc. Now we have entertainment anytime, anyplace. At the moment, we still have 24-hour linear news and broadcasters. Our goto places during times of trouble, national grief or celebration. But we have many communities to serve through groups on social media. In some cases, small groups.

We still need the comfort of one place of safety, a place of trust with no barriers to entry and no passwords or subscriptions to join. As the zombies run wild, before the power cuts out forever, I want to hear Hugh Edwards telling all my neighbours and me to lock the doors and keep quiet. Then I believe we will have a fighting chance of survival.

Jonathan Glazier: TV Director, Executive Producer, Lecturer at University for the Creative Arts. Former Head of BBC Light Entertainment and International Formats, MD FoxWorld TV UK. Creative Director at Talent TV, Creative Director Endemol Asia.

You can find me on social media at.


Pro social media


Creating My Online “TV” Course

I have been driven into the online course market creating my “online TV course” as a creator rather than a consumer. It is a covid thing, no international travel is an issue if you work as an international consultant. It is also something i have been thinking about for a while now.
But It’s a process full of decisions all of which seem quite daunting, so it is easy to procrastinate and spend all your time reading reviews and using free trials.
Do I go it alone, I can build Websites programme HTML and CSS? Do I use one of the big two ready made builders Kajabi and Thinkific? I am very clear about what I am going to offer, developing formats for audiences, now note my use of words, I didn’t say developing TV Formats. What do I call it has stopped my in my tracks and i need help? Is the noun television relevant any more?

Is the word “Television” relevant

Here is my fundamental dilemma, no one under 26 watches TV. I taught and University this year and I can confirm that between the students and my own teenage daughters, no one watches TV, or at least realises they are when they watch Love Island. They of course watch endless tictoks, youtube and stream Netfilx or any number of online sources. This is all done on mobile phones, laptops, gaming PC’s or perhaps the smartTV.
At university we had a robust conversation about what to call the TV production course moving forward.
“Television” sounds like a Jules Verne vision of the future from 1897.
“Content Creator” sounds like a person in an averagely lit bedroom in-audiabily rating on about minecrafts lack of updates.
“Digital Media” well what is that?

When we are trying to attract the crews, producers, writers and directors if we ask, in our excited dinosaur voices “DO you want to work in TV?” I suspect the answer would range from. what’s TV, through, Never watch it to a flat out NO. Its all I ever dreamt of but the last two projects I developed were “digital first” (online only) I used all the same skills and techniques as developing for TV, even in overcoming the unique non linear element of online media. What was I doing, how do I describe it. The market understands TV Format, but search but “TV” as an adjective seems to need expanding. Look, I am a TV director, then we have theatre directors, company directors etc. But what now describes a director working, asking people to point cameras at things for TV, or streaming or online events. Search media director and you will get a myriad of different sectors. I need to know what sector I work in in a single punchy everyone gets it way.

What is my online course?

This I can obviously answer, my “online TV course” is…
I want to help people format their ideas for content into a recognisable pitch for a buyer.
I want to help people format those ideas into what we now call stories, be that a story of a person winning a talent show, gameshow, or selling a thing or culture.
I want to help people who want to direct – “ask people to point cameras things creating shots” and then to “string those shots into something that tells the story”
I want to let people know what a fantastic industry camera pointing and show stringing is with opportunities for many skills and jobs, super technical to arts and design.
I want to help people fill up blank sheets of paper with great new ideas that will entertain, educate and inform.

But I don’t want to put off a new excited cohort of talent by calling by a name of a device no one watches.

Help me out

There we have it, I need help. What do we call this fantastic industry that takes a wildly talent group of people from every socio economic background, using every pronoun in the dictionary from a thankfully ever more diverse group of cultures and abilities, and as always from every educational mark on the scale. The common purpose, the capture, events, stories, concepts performances for anyone to experience through a screen, anywhere. Just writing that excites as much as the first day I walked into the industry on the Muppet Show and Digital/New Media doesn’t hack it. Wjhat do I call my “online TV course”

The Future of Television is…..

The future of Television

Watching the fantastic final of the US Open Tennis I was mindful of the future of television. Emma Raducano has inspired so many to even watch the US open and in its first year of broadcast on Amazon Prime. All making this year’s US Open the most-watched by more people than ever before. The best of the best in tennis have converged on Flushing Meadows to play at the newly opened Arthur Ashe Stadium, and over the course of the two-week event they have produced some of the finest tennis matches ever seen in person or on television. Emma of course, and her brilliant opponent Leylah Fernandez, both had dream come true stories helping to propel this event to newer heights of popularity

Network Competition
The biggest event on the tennis calendar, although I would argue that’s Wimbledon, with no traditional host broadcaster. Take a look at the opens’ TV partners, ESPN (USA, Australia), Amazon Prime (UK) BEIN Sports (Middle East & North Africa), CCTV (China), Fox Asia, Star India and Eurosport. No CBS the broadcaster since the open era began in 1968, it was 2014 when CBS was outbid by ESPN, 80% a Disney company a cable network dedicated to sport. The relationship between CBS Sport and the rest of CBS was always frosty, with many arguments about scheduling and key matches crashing the News etc. So in the USA it makes sense for a dedicated Channel to take the event. Here in the UK, we have the BBC prepared to drop their weekly schedule to make way for Wimbledon.

Amazon Prime The future of Television
In the UK for the Open, we had what I see as the future of television, The entire US open broadcast Live on prime. Each match timetabled as a stream or select matches available as VOD. It was quality broadcasting, hub studio, good commentary from Martina Navratilova and courtside observations from Tim Henman. Given the interest in Emma Raducano, there was a last-minute deal the final free to air. Literally, 24 hours before the big event Channel 4 signed the contract, for an as-yet-undisclosed seven-figure sum, and 9.2m peak watched. for free.

Broadcast TV is Dead
The vast sums paid for these events means that in the near future Amazon Netflix etc will be the only organizations with deep enough pockets to pay up. As Audiences migrate to online viewing it was live TV and big sporting events that look like they could save broadcasters. However, I think that now looks unlikely as the streamers get on the live event bandwagon, the audiences already have the sign-up, younger audiences have moved away from any terrestrial TV. The writing is on the wall as “brand flight” takes hold from the broadcasters advertising money printing press. I do now think the disruption is complete. If Netflix paid ITV productions 30m for love Island why go to the trouble of running a broadcaster on empty?

The new world
Just as tennis adjusts to games with no line judges and computer-generated calls of “OUT” and AI takes us into a world with less reliance on humans. So our viewing of media will change. I have already campaigned for educational courses to drop the title “TV production,” in fact TV anything, it is becoming increasingly redundant as a term. Content Creation is for social media, so what is the new catch-all term for those of us that make shows for the new era? Media Production, Video Production, any suggestions gratefully received! I think the future of media production is going to be huge, the future of television – perhaps less so.


We have just started using hellowoofy.com to help with our renewed blogging effort. Running 3 web sites and trying to make the all dynamic, using new content etc. Its a hard ask for small companies. So the test over the nexxt few weeks is to see if hello woofy does a better job then loomly.com in helping us (thats me) post to a scedule. Thinking of the content isn’t the hardest part, its the effort of sticking to a strategy for me personally. I have so many diverse things going on that its easy to let the regular things slide, and yet they are vital to keeping that traffic coming in.

We have aslo launched our new inititative at Pepper Rafferty, ProStream.uk helping us focus on providing live video streaming solutions to the Cambridge area. That is increasing the social media workflow. Plus we know I am a dyslexic, “Never an excuse, only a reason.” and that also means I do have slight aversionn issues to writing!

So expect a report, you may even see evidence with renewed posting activity   ✏️  here’s hoping!