The idea is basically for TV syndication, where every party involved would benefit: television networks, the advertisers and, of course, the viewers. The prime factor involved in realization is enormous decrease in distribution costs due to digital transmission of television signal. Therefore, only certain distribution methods are viable for this idea to be fully functional. But since there is a perfect backward compatibility, there are no strict requirements.
Programs can be (and usually are) very expensive for television networks to produce. There are many programs, but they cannot be broadcast at the same time. Therefore, currently, each major television network must constantly take good care of all the programming schedule. Whether the program is broadcast at 5am or 5pm makes an immense difference in ratings and reached demographic. The natural problem is that not any program can be watched at any time, so if the schedule is inconvenient for the targeted demographic (and for many it is), the ratings will most likely plumet. Advertising also has to be planned according to the schedule and the programming, so it can be more targeted and effective. For example, there is no point advertising Kinder Surprise during thriller movies late at night, just as it’s not effective to advertise condoms on the early morning children’s shows.
As a “backward compatibility”, the original channel will be kept as it is. Therefore, for those not interested in the new development could still watch the television as they were used to.
But otherwise, each single show produced or licensed by television network would receive it’s own channel. The channels themselves will be a for of sub-channels, which will clearly identify and link every sub-channel to the main channel. Each sub-channel will be broadcasting the show continuously, with targeted commercial breaks.
Main benefit is obviously reaching the full potential of the demographic. Show can no longer be missed, and market share of DVRs like TiVo would be actually reduced, since the need for recording the shows would be greatly reduced. Advertising revenue would increase, since more people would watch the show. If a company pays for advertising during Simpsons’ Episode 449, for example, the sub-channel broadcasting Simpsons would feature the same advertisement shown on the main channel, in regular intervals, but around the clock, until the next episode comes out. For billing purposes, the ratings of the sub-channel and the main channel will be added up, to reflect the real viewer count for the certain advertisement.
Once the new episode or part of the show comes out, the relative sub-channel is updated with the new episode at the same time as the new episode is aired on the main channel. Potential increase in ratings is enormous and easily justifies the very few additional resources needed to create new sub-channels. Only distribution would be aware of this, and the other departments of the television networks do not participate in the realization.
For the conservative viewer base, there is always the main channel to return to, that will not be changed in any way by this idea.
The program was already made, and paid for, so there are no additional cost involved, unless there are some license restrictions. New format would reach a wider audience, which is interested very much in the programs themselves. Ratings will be significantly higher and the revenue stream would be stronger, much stronger than what is needed to cover the additional fixed cost incurred due to distribution costs. And there is always the same good old one channel for falling back to.