TV on the Radio, Podcast-Style


CBS blew us away with a groundbreaking new idea for TV syndication on the net this week. The network will make its entire 60 Minutes show available as a free podcast. As an audio podcast, to be precise.

Now some of you might ask: Why on earth would anyone want to listen to that? And isn’t the fact that a TV show works just as well as an audio-only version proof that it shouldn’t be on TV, but rather on the radio in the first place? That’s true, and something every video podcaster should meditate on before producing the next Rocketboom.

Come to think of it, maybe the other networks should follow suit and release audio-only podcasts of their programming as well. Sure, they can still roll out their fancy Windows Media DRM-protected video-on-demand services. Just give us the audio podcast too. You know, for those days when you really can’t stand the idea of seeing Bill O’Reilly’s face.

Here’s a list of some of the shows we would enjoy without pictures:

ER. Or any of the dozens of other hospital shows, for that matter. Finally a chance to keep up to date with the water cooler talk without having to watch all those popping blood vessels and pulsating intestines.

Deal or No Deal. The only way to make this show even more exciting is to not see how nothing is happening.

Law & Order. After a thousand or so original episodes and a couple million repeats, we just don’t have to look anymore to know what’s going on. We know the detectives and their sidekicks, we know their bars and restaurants. Heck, we even know who did it. Hint: It’s always the main suspect’s wife, sister or mother. NBC, bring back some suspense by giving us an audio-only version!

The Singing Bee. Because it’s definitely not about the presentation. They could probably even sell a premium karaoke version on iTunes.

The news on pretty much every 24-hour news network. Let’s face it: Original news reporting is dead. Half of the stories have been on blogs or YouTube before they make it to CNN & Co. Just think of the John Kerry taser incident. And the funny stuff ends up on the Daily Show anyway. So let’s just all listen to our TV news for a change. At least that way we’ll turn off for sure when the next O.J. Simpson car chase is on.

(Picture: (CC-BY) C.P. Storm)



All of the Sunday morning talk shows have been podcasts for quite awhile. Well, the broadcast shows anyway (ABC, CBS, NBC). Fox recently started podcasting its Sunday talk show as audio, but the sound quality was pretty bad. CNN podcasts a video “highlights” show that averages around a half-hour. Glenn Beck has a little 5 minute teaser.


“CBS blew us away with a groundbreaking new idea…”

Blew you away? For real? In addition to the audio simulcasts on XM & Sirius, a number of news shows provide a free audio podcast already, including news shows such as Meet the Press and This Week. Even HBO is in the mix, offering Real Time w/Bill Maher for free. Its nice that they’re doing it for 60 Minutes, but its kind of a non-event for the good old CBS audience network.

Alex Stevens

“The news on pretty much every 24-hour news network. ”

This already happens on XM Satellite Radio (and probably Sirius as well, I just happen to have XM).

MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CNN Headline News and ESPNews are simulcast (audio-only, obviously) on XM and I find myself listening to them all the time.

Oddly, although it is my least favorite on television, Fox News has the most radio/audio-friendly format, and is the one I listen to most often.

Seems a smart no-brainer on CBS’s part, and a pretty clever Back to the Future radio-style move.

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