Corporate Sponsorship

Last week's readings were all about convergence culture. The introduction talked primarily about the meaning of convergence culture as well as what the rest of the book would entail. The next two chapters were about Survivor and its internet fan base and American Idol and its advertising ploys.

Fan culture is an interesting subject, especially with the advent of the internet. Before the internet existed fans of different shows would have to get in touch with each other through magazines or chain mail. I specifically remember when my sister was little and she was really into Full House. In fact she was such a huge fan of the show that she joined the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen Fan Club. Every month or so the Fan Club would send out newsletters updating fans on the girl's tour information and what not. My sister owned so many of those ridiculous straight to video movies, it was unbelievable. No it is possible to see that same culture emerging through the Internet, with shows like Lost, American Idol or Survivor. I know my mom used to keep up to date with all the gossip on The Mole when that was still on the air. It is a curious concept, is this the future of network television or is it just a passing fad? Personally I have never been able to keep up with all these shows to be that interested to go searching for answers online. However, I have started watching some shows on the Internet since staring college. It is convenient, I do not have to leave my dorm room!

Which brings us to another interesting topic, what is the future of advertising with all the networks making their programming available online? Will television regress to its original form and have corrupt corporate sponsored shows? Such as in the movie Quiz Show. John Turturro plays the not so appealing reigning champ of Twenty One, a television game show that was prevalent in the 1950's. The sponsors of the show order the producers to rig the game so Turturro loses and a much more attractive and likeable player becomes the new champ. Some shows have already carried on this tradition of corporate sponsorship, such as Bonanza being sponsored by Chevrolet. And it is still prevalent today with shows like American Idol and Survivor who flaunt their corporate sponsorship for everyone to see. Is this indeed the future for network television? Only time will tell.