ZDTV, web or TV?

ZDTV is the only cable TV that talks about technology 24/7 but for those who are not American and cannot "enjoy" cable TV, it is an important resource for technological news on the web. In January ZDTV was sold off by the decayed publishing house Ziff Davis (publisher, years ago, of the American MacUser, later merged with Macworld), recently bought by C-Net, to be sold to Microsoft's co-founder, Paul Hallen, for the nice sum of 320 million dollars and parked under the protective wing of the Vulcan Ventures.

Now ZDTV becomes, more explicitly, techtv and, through the words of its CEO Larry Wangberg, "it will not fail to understand the topic we will discuss"; in the San Francisco studios will be produced 50% more than the programs so far released by those studios.

Contrary to the popular ZDTV website (750,000 hits per month), the TV channel is not particularly widespread because it is often inserted by cable operators into the group distributed exclusively digitally and, still, few Americans have the equipment needed to access it. Only in next September major metropolises like San Francisco and New York will be able to receive techtv thanks to the major carriers in their areas, respectively AT&T Digital Cable (formerly TCI) and TimeWarner Digital Cable.

Paul Allen, by chance, also owns a cable TV carrier (the fourth most important in the states) that will certainly help to spread the channel to the rest of the US, Charter Communications.

It will be that for ZDTV the listening to television by Nielsen Media Research (our Auditel, even if of size and credibility to the nth degree) is not calculated, but it is rumored that it is better this way because the percentages would be minimal , so small to miss all the advertisers, so far convinced by the top management of ZDTV, who tell them they have the same numbers they have on the web.

Paul Allen hopes that this change of skin at ZDTV will bring more diffusion to the techtv (he expects 23 million within the year) because, despite being the third richest man in the world, he will not be able to finance this society indefinitely from double personality (on-line and on-air, or rather on-cable).