ABC TV chief to daughter: You *will* watch television

November 30, 2009

When I went to college in 1991, I begged my parents to buy me a small television for my dorm room (They wouldn’t let me work during my first year of college, so I had no money). How things have changed in 18 years!

I learned how much they changed at the first day of the Reuters Global Media Summit. Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group, was talking to us about how quickly the Internet and mobile technology are changing the way that we look at news and entertainment. That led to her divertimento into campus life:

You come to realize very quickly that all these platforms are very different. Sometimes they’re being used or accessed by different demographics.

The way my 19-year-old daughter accesses televisions… We had quite a discussion about why she didn’t want to take a television to college with her. She said, “Mom, you don’t understand I don’t need it.” I said “You’re going to have a television if I have to nail it to your wall. You have to have one.” She said, “If I want to see shows, I can go abc.com, I can go to Hulu.”

This is how a 19-year-old lives. And I think it’s important to understand not only that piece of the demo, but also kids who are growing up today who have more devices than she had, if that’s even possible, growing up. We’re going to have to be serving them, so it’s a learning process. As platforms surface, we assess their viability, both from a technological and from a business model perspective.

New media may be new media, but when you’re the daughter of the ABC TV chief, it’s not just a TV — it’s a family obligation.

One comment

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Great story. My wife and I have been watching less TV on the ole tube and watching more online since discovering Hulu. It’s so much easier to choose what we want to watch rather than be held down to a schedule.AND…..we’ve canceled cable services and are saving over $1,0000 every year by watching shows online.