Welcome to the 21st century. A decade or so ago, the cable industry proudly announced that one day consumers would have a choice of 400 channels. Cable firms were as short-sighted then as they are now. The Distillery laughed when the cable industry promised the future as they saw it. Instead, The Distillery saw thousands and thousands of channels, some even “starring” narcissistic individuals, but all focused on increasingly narrow target or niche markets.
One might look at it another way. Remember when ESPN first aired and its sports content included lumberjacking and other decidedly obscure “sports?” In a sense, ESPN was more ahead of its time than it knew. What those early programs lacked in numbers of viewers, they more than made up for their few viewers with their [implicit] predictions of a future where broadcasting (e.g., Monday Night Football) gives way to narrowcasting (e.g., “season ticket” all-games packages), and then to microcasting where only very small niche markets exist (e.g., field hockey TVoIP), and can be profitable even with far smaller scales and scopes given the internet’s often contrarian economics.
Index: Country Channel TV
Index: Real Estate TV
The European Affairs Channel (a.k.a. EUX.TV)
Field Hockey TV
Index: International Hockey Federation
Index: Golf Bug TV Blog