UPDATE: I’ve been informed Hulu has all episodes until October.
In the past, I have really enjoyed watching Top Shot. Sure, it’s a reality show and we see all the freak drama. We’ve also seen some very remarkable marksman and admirable sportsmen – and a great list of firearms.
So why would I see watching the series at this point? Simple….bad management decisions.
I usually watch Top Shot on the History Channel website. Season 3 aired on August 9th. However, due to an upcoming vacation and the need to work some serious overtime the week(s) prior in order to flex a few extra days; I had no free time to watch it.
So now when I go to the website only episode 3 is available. Well, I don’t want to watch episode 3 without seeing the first two. The History Channel has decided for whatever reason to only make 1-2 of the most recent episodes available.
Now I can tell you without a doubt, that whatever reason the History Channel is doing this for is WRONG. And I can prove it to you. THC can claim it’s due to advertisers, licensing issues, etc, etc. But regardless of the reason, they lose viewership because of this policy. Loss of viewership is loss of revenue, prestige, and eventually a death-knell to a show. We’re not talking about a show dying due to a lack of interest; we’re talking about a showing dying due to lack of access.
The History Channel, and many networks like it, have failed to realize that us 25-35 yr old crowd just can’t handle a one show a week set-up. We’re too busy. Often we’re forced to binge. Watch three episodes, wait a couple weeks. Watch two more. Waiting a few weeks. Watch the next four. It’s how we live.
It is all the more important in a series that has sequential elements or plot lines. Back in the old days of Start Trek: The Next Generation. Most of the episodes were stand alone. You could come in at most any time within a few episodes and watch and not be left out of the loop. But as TV became more serial again, and one episode plot followed another this became impossible. Try watching random episodes of the new Battlestar Galactica series – you’ll be lost. The same holds very true in reality TV. Top Shot is an elimination show. As such, missing an episode loses the sequence. But missing the first one or two episodes where you meet the contestants pretty much kills the season. For a show to be successful, it must be a) regular, b) accessible.
So a big thanks to The History Channel for making me skip out on season 3 of Top Shot. I’ll have about a 1/2 day more free time this season. All thanks to the fact that you are only leaving episodes up for a week.
Sadly, I’ll also be skipping Gun Nuts Media’s podcast for a while as well. What’s the point of listening to post-elimination interviews if I haven’t seen the shows.
Way to go losing an avid viewer and support of Top Shot. Wake up History Channel. This is how the SciFi channel killed it’s self and why so many now exclaim “F-SyFy”.
PS – I’m not afraid of commercials. I don’t mind commercials. Especially if you got some advertisements that were more relevant (ie: firearm manufacturers, outfitters, etc). Seriously, STOP with this super-limited availability. It’s killing your viewership. And I really can’t figure out how network execs can be THAT !@#$% stupid to not realize it’s bad for business. Do you really think we’re not going to buy the DVD set if we see the episodes online? We’re either going to buy them or not.