The main number that programme makers tout when finding a channel for their programme is – the number of homes the channel is available in. My question this week is – Does this number matter?
I think the number of homes a channel is available in is just a vanity number. The number of homes or reach is more to do with the Satellite, cable or digital company than the popularity of your channel.
Don’t get me wrong potential is important and if your programme is popular or becomes popular, you want to mamixmise that by being available in as many homes as possible but if your programme isn’t popular it doesn’t matter how many homes it is in. I think if you have a large potential viewerbase and low actual viewing numbers then it reflects worse on the programme, than if it was on a platform with a smaller reach.
Like the rest of the world, TV is driven more and more by data these days but the key data always will be related to how many people are watching and engaging with your programme. If a programme has a strong viewership then that is the only number TV companies will use, it is only when this number isn’t as strong as it should be that other stats get banded about.
You know the programmes that are truly being watched, as these are the programmes that are being talked about. People talking about your programme are the best commodity you can find. If people are talking about your programme, people will find it, regardless of what platform it is on.
I think it is lazy just to expect people to watch a programme because it is on a big platform. Every programme maker and TV Company should be focused on getting eyeballs on their product, because that is the only way to grow your audience or to make a programme bigger.
As a programme maker you never know when a network is going to cancel your show or not renew a contract, so you have to at all times keep your perceived programme value high. To keep your value high you need a loyal fanbase that will follow you regardless of what network you are on and campaign on your behalf. For the big players TV is a supply and demand market, so make sure you never lose focus on the demand for your programme.