ntent, (blatant circus type soaps and nature programs aside) is not political slant!

Posted by: Warren Celli at December 4, 2002 01:40 PM

One reason -- not the only one -- why cable & satellite TV tend to be more experimental than their network competition is that they are supported by subscriptions as well as or instead of advertising. There are no sponsors on HBO, TCM, or C-Span, and, sunofagun, they offer more interesting programming than ABC, NBC, or CBS. Who knew?

Posted by: Jesse Walker at December 4, 2002 07:33 PM

I meant to add that that last comment was a response to Roublen's well-taken statement above...

Posted by: Jesse Walker at December 4, 2002 07:34 PM

West Wing's quality and viewership are in free fall. That pompous, preachy September 11th episode was the beginning of the end.

Posted by: Henry Hanks at December 5, 2002 07:12 AM

I'd say the viewership of the networks is still so high that they justify their existance. I'd say the blogspace is libertarian/conservative. Cable news has been from the beginning of CNN an alternative cutting edge news source. CNN then tried to be a network and cut left to "gain" audience at the same time NBC jumped in with MSNBC and FOX hit the ground running.

What we see is clear evidence that the cable audience is still the original CNN chip on the shoulder reporting, except now it's done by FOX. Ratings at MSNBC have vanished precisely because they are the exact same news that NBC provides on their network. Cable viewers by definition hate the nets.

All are sponsor supported. Only TNT survives without commercials on their movies.

So cable news has become conservative only with FOX as MSNBC disappears, and CNN has to combine with ABC in order for each to survive, so they will continue to drift left. I'd say the result will be balance and choice on cable.

Posted by: Howard Veit at December 8, 2002 06:58 PM
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