A couple of interesting articles over at Wired this month. First they look at how Yahoo is becoming a network like CBS, ABC or NBC. They throw out some big numbers:
A household with 300 cable or satellite channels has access to 7,000 hours of programming a day, almost 3 million per year. That's a lot, but it's only a fraction of the 31 million hours of total annual programming.31 million hours of programming a year! That is an amazing amount of programming. I wonder how they came up with that number.
In the second article they interview Jon Stewart:
What do you make of the quality of television now?So, we take the Stewart Goodness Theorem and apply it to total programming and we come up with 27 million hours of bad television a year and 3.7 million hours of good television.
Karlin: I firmly believe that the number of quality programs on television right now is probably higher than it has ever been.
Stewart: It's a constant level of goodness.
What is that level?
Stewart: I'd say it's around 12 percent. I'd say 12 percent goodness, 88 percent crapola. I'm calling it the Goodness Theorem. The goodness is a constant, like pi, and it stays that way. What happens is, as the environment expands around it, the goodness expands at the exact same rate. So the ratio of goodness to crapola remains the same. And the percentage of goodness on network TV is probably the same as 30 years ago.
3.7 million hours of good television a year? How come I find it so hard to find one good hour a day? If these numbers hold there should be 10,000 hours of quality TV a day to choose from. If that is true, there is really no reason I should ever have a bad TV experience for the rest of my life. Seems like there must be a serious filtering problem going on. The whole Tivo thumbs up, thumbs down thing isn't getting the job done. We need a Netflix rating system/Google searching deal to make sure nothing but quality TV that I enjoy makes it front of my eyes. Is that too much to ask?