Fox’s Simulcasting Shows For College Audience; And the Point Is?

Fox is touting a new streaming arrangement it is launching: it will stream the premiere of two of its anticipated shows “Fringe” and season opener of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” online at the same time as they are broadcast on TV..but in a twist, this is only for college students, or more accurately, anyone with a .edu address, which includes university staff etc as well. Fox content strategy senior VP Bill Bradford came up with the idea after noticing that .edu addresses were among’s top visitors, reports Variety. While the thinking behind it is certainly admirable (college students presumably watch more shows online than TV), the audience for live online simulcast of shows is probably very small, compared to on-demand viewing. And even Fox acknowledges the small window for students: these shows will be available on demand after midnight PDT on the night of the broadcast to everyone, not just restricted to college campuses, the company PR told me. Which means for now, this move is mainly for its PR value…and I suppose some residual research purposes. Some more details here.