Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The Oscars Loved the Web Last Night, Hate It Today

What happened with Randy Newman on the Oscars last night?

Apparently something funny, or interesting, or at least worth talking about on Twitter. And since there didn’t seem to be much of that during what I saw of last night’s show, I’d like to see it on YouTube this morning.

And I’m out of luck.

Which isn’t surprising. Just like it’s done for the past several years, Google’s video giant has been scrubbing the site clean of clips from last night’s show.

There’s an official Oscars YouTube channel, but it only has stuff from past shows and previews for Sunday’s broadcast (same goes for the official Oscar site). Maybe there’s a clip of Newman’s acceptance speech buried somewhere on the site, but I can’t find it. Even after I create a filter for newly uploaded clips, all I get are weird non-results and frustrating spam.

Again, not a surprise: Both Disney, which pays a lot for the right to broadcast the show on ABC, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which actually produces the thing, want me to regret not watching the show in real-time.

Big live events are the most valuable things on TV these days, so the people who put them on are trying their best to give real-time viewers carrots — Backstage Oscarscams! Twitter and Facebook feeds! Etc! —  give half-watchers like me the stick.

This is very much a replay of the Grammy awards from earlier this month. And that show had its biggest audience in years, so I don’t see anything changing in the short-term.

Which is a mistake. Because not everyone’s going to watch all of every big live event on TV. And some of us — probably a pretty big number — would like to catch up the next day.

But the half-life for this stuff is very, very short, and its gets shorter all the time. I can’t imagine caring very much about Randy Newman, or anything else on last night’s show, by this afternoon.

See you next year, or not.


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