Is television a dead medium?

The second edition of dok.revue

Illustration: Michaela Kukovičová

Is television a dead medium? Yes and no. A TV set is a very useful object, not only before a hockey or a football championship. To appeal to viewers today, the device has teamed up with internet, streaming and recording apps and obtained a special Netflix button for its remote control. Dishing out a wealth of cable and satellite stations it enables us to endlessly switch from channel to channel. Our time calls for all possible networking and distribution options.

However, are TV stations also able to flexibly respond to the transformation in the means of image dissemination? Production of own online platforms, such as the Czech iVysilani.cz and HBO GO intended for viewers with no TV set, is commonplace. The current situation with Netflix – followed by other major or small VOD platforms – buying off quality fiction, documentary and animation titles from across the world, at the same time producing globally attractive programmes and TV shows, resembles a war. The global reach is, in fact, a substantial weakness of these major portals, the so-called majors. These portals will always be more than happy to treat to you to BBC documentary series, but never to programmes produced nationally.

In order for TV stations – mostly public ones – to preserve their prominent role in the social context, they will have to focus more on producing their own thematically relevant and formally elaborated content. Since its establishment, Czechoslovak Television has been a major institution producing national cultural values. And this position should only become more powerful, as it cannot be substituted by any of the “majors”. On the contrary, this may give rise to works that will be sold and launched to the global orbit.