Is television becoming even more competitive?

There is no question that television channels and companies are ultra-competitve with one another. Each year, stations attempt to outdo the others by having the best television shows and gain more recognition amongst the public eye. By having one of the most watched channels, there is a greater likelihood that station will get more money and have the ability to produce even more and better shows.

While there are many justifiable reasons that one can provide as to why a certain network is the best, often times the most used reason is the total number of Emmy wins a station received in the previous year. At the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, HBO and FX shared the crown, as both networks won 6 major awards. The total nomination list by network was as followed:

HBO: 40, FX:28, Netflix: 17, ABC: 12, AMC: 9, Showtime: 8, Amazon/NBC/CBS/PBS: 6, Comedy Central: 5, Fox: 4, and BBC/Lifetime/USA: 3

While the primary competition is amongst the networks and seeing who can be the most successful and have the highest viewership, there is also competition present within the each of the shows that the networks are producing. Shows such as “Mr. Robot”, “The Walking Dead”, “American Horror Story”, and “How to Get Away with Murder” all have been pushing the boundaries as to what is socially acceptable in terms of content.

In each of the shows, respectively, there is a fine line that exists between what is morally acceptable and what is not. From time to time, the shows attempt to cross that line to cause a shift in it entirely to make the questionable events more acceptable.

“It’s become almost a sort of competition between networks to see what can be said and done,” Donna Bertazzoni, Communication Arts professor at Hood College, said.

For example, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is a direct challenger to FX’s “American Horror Story” in terms of gore and violence. Both networks push the boundaries as to who can go the furthest and get away with the content. “The Walking Dead” showed a character’s head get smashed in by a baseball bat until there was nothing left. “American Horror Story” showed a character getting impaled and burned alive on a pole.

This competition amongst networks could possibly lead to more regulation from the FCC on what they can show but it would be difficult for that to happen, according to Bertazzoni.

“Congress would have to change the law,” she said. “It would be up to them and the Court to give the Federal Communications Commission the power to regulate cable.”

Who knows, crazier things have happened.


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