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Summary:

Fox is touting a new streaming arrangement it is launching: it will stream the premiere of two of its anticipated shows “Fringe” and season…

Fox is touting a new streaming arrangement it is launching: it will stream the premiere of two of its anticipated shows “Fringe” and season opener of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” online at the same time as they are broadcast on TV..but in a twist, this is only for college students, or more accurately, anyone with a .edu address, which includes university staff etc as well. Fox content strategy senior VP Bill Bradford came up with the idea after noticing that .edu addresses were among Fox.com’s top visitors, reports Variety. While the thinking behind it is certainly admirable (college students presumably watch more shows online than TV), the audience for live online simulcast of shows is probably very small, compared to on-demand viewing. And even Fox acknowledges the small window for students: these shows will be available on demand after midnight PDT on the night of the broadcast to everyone, not just restricted to college campuses, the company PR told me. Which means for now, this move is mainly for its PR value…and I suppose some residual research purposes. Some more details here.

  1. "the audience for live online simulcast of shows is probably very small, compared to on-demand viewing. "

    That's probably true here in the US because that's the way content providers have promoted and distributed their online programming. The familiar linear model from Old TV has several advantages over the VOD model used by HULU et al — it works for advertisers. On a global basis, linear programming is vastly larger than VoD by most metrics.

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  2. To the best of my knowledge, Nielsen doesn't including out-of-home viewing in its ratings (bars, college dorms, etc.).

    So it would be very interesting for Fox if they could demonstrate a high college viewership via streaming #s, and even if they did cannibalize some over-air viewing, they wouldn't diminish their Nielsen ratings.

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  3. College-buzz oftentimes starts online buzz oftentimes gives the show a hipness factor and media attention, no?

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  4. I agree with SR, Fox would have to demonstrate their results audience with numbers.

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  5. There are some way to know if these data results are really.?

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