Based on the title of this blog, I know there are a few of you out there wondering, “Is he talking to me?” I Might be… However, I am certainly not talking to any of our nation’s nearly 2,000 FREE over-the-air broadcasters. These guys are the backbone of television. These guys combine great local content (Quick, what is the name of your favorite local weatherman?) with great network-level content. These guys tell you when schools are closed, cover local sports, elections, and put out a great and FREE digital signal. These guys ask for nothing in return except that you watch their programming. Simple. Watch them and you get their product for free. That is the way it should work.
I am talking about LOST, the ABC television series. Great show. If you haven’t yet, you need to see this show. No, you need to own it. You need to get caught up. I own it. So loved am I by my brother-in-law and sister-in-law that I routinely get gift certificates for my birthday. Suddenly, I found myself with $50 bucks to spend at Best Buy. Good deal. Since my son and I own every “E for Everyone” rated XBox game ever made, we headed to the video aisle. There it was calling to me, seven DVDs in all — LOST. I got LOST.
LOST brought my family together. One downside to having so many TVs (14) in my home is that people split up and we’ve lost the benefit of forced watching/together time. Two of us decided to watch the original LOST pilot episodes starting on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We then watched episode 3 before trekking out to the holiday dinner. Having just discovered a great show, we were energized. So energized that we started a club…LOST Watchers…I guess. The only way you could get into the club was to start at the very beginning, to see all episodes, including the pilots, so you could get caught up. A funny thing happened. My oldest daughter and I, the founders of Club LOST Watchers, sat through all of the episodes we’d already seen with those family members wanting to fulfill their initiation requirements. It is a great show. It brought our family together.
Season 1 in the bag, now I am LOST again. Yes, I could go to Apple iTunes and pay for it. I could just start watching at whatever episode is currently on. TitanTV will tell me how many episodes behind I am. Or, I could wait. Truth be told, I was starting to remember the frustration I felt as a little kid for poor Gilligan, Skipper’s little buddy… So, if I start watching LOST next Wednesday, do the episodes I’ve missed so far this year actually become the LOST episodes?
What if my local ABC station made LOST available to me? Aren’t they in the best position to do that? I’ve already done my part by buying last season’s DVD. Now I don’t want to be lost anymore. I want to get caught up and I want to do it through my local ABC affiliate. I’d either pay for that privilege or sit through a quick advertisement to be able to get caught up. What if the only price I had to pay was “Last night’s LOST brought to you by your local Toyota dealers?” I’d gladly pay that. What if my local broadcaster for $14.95 a month made their programming available on-demand? If I liked their shows I might pay that. The point is when we think ABC, we think KCRG, or WABC, or KABC, or whatever the call letters are for our stations. When we think weather, at least where I live, we think Denny Frary, our local weather icon. You see, Denny is the key. Without Denny, I may never have gotten LOST.