So you think the media merchants of mindless pap are content to only lobotomize us into drooling, slack-jawed consumers? Think again, fellow zombies, because now they’re after our dogs, too. Welcome to the future of canine entertainment, and the end of civilization as we know it.
From this story on businessweek.com:
Gilad Neumann wants to be clear: He does not want to turn your dog into a couch potato. But if you’re going out for a few hours, he hopes that soon you’ll leave your television on and tuned to his new cable channel, Dog TV, the first channel directly targeting canine viewers. “Veterinary associations like the Humane Society and the ASPCA have been recommending for dog owners to leave the TV or radio on when they leave their dog home alone for many hours,” says Neumann, Dog TV’s founder and chief executive officer.
However, “not every video that you leave your dog with is appropriate,” he says. “[Anything that contains] fireworks or gunfire could scare your dog and create more stress than no TV.” Dog TV’s programming, on the other hand, is meant to soothe your dog’s abandonment anxiety–and spare your furniture–while he or she is alone.
That’s right. Dog TV. It’s here, but only if you live in the lone test market of San Diego, California and only if you have Time Warner Cable or Cox Media. The channel went live in San Diego on Feb. 12, but if it takes off, the Israeli company behind Dog TV hope to take it nationwide by the end of the year and start charging $4.99 per month for the privilege.
So what, pray tell, does Dog TV consist of? Oh, completely awesome(less) stuff like this. According to the story, that’s the kind of stuff your dog wants to see.
From the story…Dog TV, after all, isn’t for humans. For one thing, the colors will seem off, since they’ve been calibrated to suit dogs’ limited vision. (Essentially color-blind, dogs can only see shades of blue and yellow.) “We’re constantly doing … you can call them focus groups for groups for dogs,” says Neumann. “We’ve noticed, for example, that dogs are not thrilled about barking on the channel, so we’ve removed almost all barking.”
Really? I think maybe they need to expand their “focus groups” past the dog park, because I’m pretty sure my dogs want to see programming like this.
So…if that’s the kind of stuff non-sporting dogs like to watch, and if there’s a market for it, might there be a market for a channel dedicated to sporting dog programming? What do you think your dog would like to watch? Would you pay for it?
And while we’re riffing the possibilities, what about subliminal dog training programs? Hour after hour of exciting gundog footage that’s not only entertaining old Spot, but subconsciously teaching him important training concepts? Might that be the future of gundog training? Training DVDs and programs, not for us, but the dogs?
Hmmm, I just might be on to something there…