Wednesday, August 02, 2006

HBO Asia Reinvents Broadcast Definitions

I have read that HBO Asia, part of HBO - a Time Warner company (NYSE:TWX) says that it has reached a deal with the PCCW broadband platform "now TV" in Hong Kong to launch a time-shifted feed of its "HBO Signature" channel and branded as "HBO Signature PLUS 1" channel that will feature “completely unedited programming".

What on earth does “completely unedited programming" mean when it comes to movie scheduling?

HBO Signature Plus 1, if I understand correctly, shows identical programming to HBO Signature with a one hour delay. Both are on 'now broadband".

HBO is known for showing full length movies on its movie channels. Nothing more, Nothing less, as depicted in its program schedules on its Hong Kong section of its web site found at http://www.hboasia.com .

HBO Asia says Signature is for women viewers.

That is the scene setter, now to the crux of this article:

HBO Asia says it is showing "completely unedited programming". But why would HBO Asia do anything else when they show fully finished movies back-to-back in their broadcast day?

"Completely unedited programming" as a broadcast definition would apply to an original "live" production that cannot be pre-produced, as you would expect from sports and live events coverage. But HBO shows fully completed movies!

In today's era of intense competition, broadcast industry definitions are being stretched beyond acceptable limits into the world of jibberish.

I simply cannot accept debasement of traditional and professional television standards and definitions.

I remember when some idiot came up with the definition "interstitial" to replace "program promotion".

I am not against progress but I was taught not to use big words when simple words will do.

Is it that some uninformed, young PR marketing geek at HBO Asia Singapore has had to find a "fresh" definition to say "movie re- broadcast" in trying to explain the one hour 'time shift' of HBO Asia Signature and Plus 1.

The definition 'time shift' first came into usage, back in the early 1950s when the Bing Crosby Radio program was taped. The Audio Tape recorder was in fact invented by Ampex specifically for the Bing Crosby radio show to be shown at the same time, coast-to-coast.

Anyway, if he is quoted correctly, CEO HBO Asia, Jonathan Spink said: "HBO Signature PLUS 1 takes this a step further ( talking about the “completely unedited programming,”) by offering something that is not available on any other local television station—the ability to access a program how it was intended to be shown in the first place."

What gobbledy-gook is that? Perhaps he means "second airing on Hong Kong TV?"

Is that what Mr Spink means? If so, why not say so.

As for the comment: "the ability to access a program how it was intended to be shown in the first place" surely, a movie can only be shown to the TV audience based on the original script and interpreted by the director? Or is HBO Asia editing story lines especially for Signature and Signature Plus 1 for Hong Kong broadcast? I do not think so.

Is Mr Spink trying to tell us his network is doing something worthy of being called "original".

I don't think so.

Dear Mr Spink, what planet are you and and your team living on?

[HBO is part of Time Warner. Here is what the parent website says:

"Strong executive leadership ensures we stay at the forefront of the industry" (http://www.timewarner.com/corp/corp_governance/index.html)

Makes you wonder where the industry is going?]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi just to let you know Plus 1 is uncensored. With now-tv in HK the channel is passcode protected for 18+only.

It is not 100% original - as proven by "The Hangover" photos during final credits - they were still censored.

Sounds like from press releases they are trying not to be so blatent as to say "we let you hear the naughty words".