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"Family Guy" Changing TV Economics

Today’s Los Angeles Times (link requires free registration) has an article about Family Guy and the new economics of television entertainment.

How will it do in the ratings the second time around? News Corp. executives say it doesn’t matter much. This time, their business model is not built around ratings-driven advertising but relies instead on license fees from cable and sales of new DVDs and merchandise — including coffee table books, CDs, cellphone ring tones and games.

The return of “Family Guy” illustrates the shifting dynamics of the TV industry. As the proliferation of digital video recorders such as TiVo Inc.’s device enables more people to watch TV when they wish, 30-second advertisements are losing some of their luster.

More and more, Tribbey said, “shows eventually may be designed for their DVD potential. The broadcast network will almost act like a promotional platform for the entire package.”

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