MTV To Release New Show's Full First Season Via App Ahead Of Broadcast Premiere

By Kelly West 3 years ago discussion comments
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Lately Iíve been questioning whether or not binge-watching certain TV shows via Netflix or On Demand is ruining me for regular TV viewing. Itís much easier to get engrossed in a ďnewĒ TV show when watching episode after episode on Netflix, isnít it? Binge-watching allows us to become a fan of a series in a matter of hours, as opposed to a matter of weeks or months, which is how long it takes when watching one episode at a time as they air on TV. Itís no wonder many TV viewers prefer to wait for Netflix or On Demand to delve into new series. Which is why MTVís decision to release one of their new seriesí entire first seasons in its entirety via an app ahead of its broadcast debut may prove to be a very good move, if it helps the series build an audience.

THR reports that MTV is releasing the first season of their new docu-series Wait íTil Next Year via the MTV app beginning today (October 25), ahead of the seriesí official debut on MTV on November 1. The series is described as a docu-series about a Bad News Bears-esque football team, the Lincoln Park Railsplitters, suffering the longest losing streak in Michigan history:

Looking at the trailer, it kind of makes me think of a reality TV version of Friday Night Lights, in that itís as much about the drama as it is about the football. Except this team is no Dillon Panthers.

As interesting as the show looks, Iím actually more interested in this approach MTV is taking as it seems to be a step forward toward the new way of watching TV. MTVís always been big on weekend marathons of their reality TV shows, but those were always previously-aired episodes. In this case, theyíre offering all 12 episodes of the seriesí first season before the first episode even airs. They run the risk of drastically reducing their ratings like this, if people decide to forgo the TV airings and just watch the episodes via the app. But more than likely, this is an effort to build some buzz for the series, and what better way to do that than by taking the Netflix approach in delivering all of the episodes at once to those app-savvy viewers out there, which are presumably the bulk of MTVís targeted audience these days.

Itís an intriguing approach, and I'll be curious to see how it works out for this show and whether MTV decides to do this for any of their other shows. I'd also be curious to see if any other cable channel decides to take this approach with a new (preferably scripted) series to see if it gives the show a better launch than the more traditional way of airing one episode at a time and hoping viewers stay interested. With that said, if say, FX, AMC or USA tried something like this, Iíd prefer they find a way to make the episodes available to watch on an actual TV. Call me old-school, but I donít watch a lot of TV on my cell phone, computer or iPad. I like TV on my TV and I doubt Iím in the minority (among my age bracket) there.
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