This year, CBS will handle broadcasting a favorite American pastime.
In response to an inquiry about what the online audience might look like this year, CBS Public Relations Manager Annie Rohrs said via e-mail that “we are not releasing traffic expectations for the live stream (for Super Bowl XLVII.)”
TV over time
Hay, who has taught TV studies for about 26 years, noted the current trend is one where viewers interact with shows.
“The Super Bowl is a great example of a kind of program from the past … that has been reinvented in the 21st century during a time in which the trend is more toward interactivity,” Hay said.
Hay said that the Super Bowl is, of course, an advertising event. He said the marketers and sponsors of the Super Bowl also feed into the culture of interactivity, encouraging consumers to go online and engage with features there.
(This year, CBS claims the commercials will be available online right after they air.)
Hay gave a brief overview of the different “media generations” over time:
The period of broadcasting started in the 1950s, he said.
“The old way of watching television in the ’50s-’70s was at your home.”
Then, during the ’80s and ’90s, cable and satellite became normalized.
Hay said “the cable TV gave you a remote control device which allowed you to switch (channels) more quickly” without getting up. He said the VCR was also born in the 1980s.
“Gradually that old model of TV — delivering a program … according to a time schedule (where you) have to be there when the program is on — that, began to morph into time-switching.”
Time-switching is when one can watch a TV show after-the-fact, at a time that is convenient.
“The ’80s was that period when you had that explosion of TV channels,” Hay added. “Advertisers were worried. No longer was the consumer sitting there like a couch potato. Increasingly, the viewer becomes able to customize the programming for her his own schedule.”