Six, Five… Four?… Three?

Big development in the MSM market. It appears CBS and Time Warner are taking UPN and the WB offline and merging the two into a new, more efficient network (The “CW”?). From the Yahoo!-Reuters article (Link):

UPN and the WB, both formed 11 years ago, have each struggled to build their ratings and achieve profitability with programming aimed at younger viewers than the 18-to-49-year-old audience regarded as the advertising preference for the Big Four broadcasters — ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

The merger comes as the most obvious sign yet that the increasingly fragmented U.S. television market is incapable of supporting as many as six commercial networks.

“Five might be one broadcast network too many,” said Bob Thompson, head of Syracuse University’s Center for the Study of Popular Television.

I don’t know. Unless the networks find ways to connect with the younger demographic they’re chasing (and which isn’t getting any younger), I’m not sure if the market – in it’s current form – will even exist in the coming years. They’re going to have to change. Combining “Gilmore Girls” with “Everybody Hates Chris” isn’t going to be enough, in my opinion.