The New York Times will use videos that currently reach people around the globe for a local TV show.
Starting next Monday, a half-hour program of videos about New York from the Times will air as a program called NYTV at 8:30 p.m. on flagship local station NYC life, which is run by the city government.
The Times show bumps a program on local museums and will be followed by archival footage of talks at the 92nd Street Y.
It’s a strange move at a time when many are cutting the cord with traditional television and cable TV – a fifth of all North American Internet traffic during prime times is devoted to entertainment streaming service Netflix.
One consideration: the price is certainly right. The Times simply hands over videos and post-production work and graphics are done by the NYC life staff.
"We thought it was an innovative way to package and make an interesting show where people could experience the Times in a different way on our channel," Diane Petzke, general manager of NYC Media told blog The Cutline. "It enriches our programming slate."
For the channel, maybe. But you have to wonder why the Times wouldn't consider uploading the same videos without packaging them into an old-school TV program for a limited run on any number of services that stream from the Internet to TV -- for example Hulu, Roku and Apple TV -- for a much wider audience. (It's not clear whether the Times program will be offered in the Internet streaming version of NY life.)
Clearly, the Times needs to do something with the 100 or so videos they produce every month -- and many readers would love to watch them outside hasty viewings in the office on a computer -- but it will be interesting to see what results this approach brings them.