The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Mad Dogs And Englishmen

I can understand why ITV would want to advertise it’s ‘ITV Player’ catch-up service during Primeval. But, oh my goodness, what loon decided they should do so by sticking a huge caption on the screen at the end of the episode – just as each episode is reaching its climax! Surely, if they must do this, it would make more sense to advertise a catch-up service at the beginning of the episode? Do they think viewers will sit all the way through an episode and then want to go back and see the one they missed? It should be part of the pre-titles story-so-far montage – a way of saying ‘Here are some clips from last week’s, but if you want to see it properly it’s still available on demand’.

Ironically, if you watch it on ITV player you’ll not only avoid the distraction of the caption, but you won’t have to bother with any adverts! Quite what ITV’s fiscal rationale is for this, greater minds than mine can only dream to speculate.

The BBC, meanwhile, have gone to the DOGs (Digital Onscreen Graphics). The logic behind them bears no logical scrutiny at all – if they were justified on BBCs 3 and 4, they’d be on BBCs 1 and 2. They’d be there during Question Time and EastEnders. Instead they only appear on digital channels – the channels where the channel name comes up on the screen when you select it!

However, just as with the ITV player, if you watch the shows on catch-up – where reminding the viewers from which channel a show originated might be justified – there isn’t a channel-specific DOG at all! If there is a DOG, it’ll just be a BBC DOG. Because, using the BBC iPlayer, you wouldn’t already know it was a BBC show...

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