Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Good Morning America! --
You’re Missing a Great Opportunity to Broadcast Live From Orlando!

The NBA Basketball Finals are being held in Orlando this year, thanks to an incredibly talented Orlando Magic basketball team. The City of Orlando, in typical “O-town" entertainment-style has rolled out the blue magic carpets and spared no expense welcoming all of the wonderful NBA fans and reporters with blue and white balloons, banners, manicured gardens, clean streets, fresh paint, free Lymmo buses, and comfortable outdoor seating. Except for the time zone (and no volcanos), you’d think you were in Waikiki!

TVgrrrrl, thanks to a cleverly-worded sign and an ambitious ABC roving camera crew, managed to get herself and her posse of friends on ABC TV last night as the Magic beat the Lakers 108 to 104! How very cool!

However, the ABC presence stops there. Where is the Good Morning America crew? Back at home in NY, safely shielded behind the sterile blue windows of their studio on Broadway with a subdued “live” studio audience standing like statues in the background. Ah, snore… No wonder the show always lags behind NBC’s “Today Show” in ratings. (According to Nielsen, on May 14, 2009 the Today Show marked it’s 700th week as network television’s most popular morning show. Do the math – that’s over 13 years!)

Why isn’t Good Morning America here in Orlando broadcasting live from Amway Arena during the NBA finals? Or perhaps from the quaint brick-lined restaurant and business district, perhaps in the Orange County Historical Museum park at Central and Magnolia? Or on Lake Eola? Or perhaps from outside their own affiliate studios at WFTV Channel 9 in downtown Orlando?

Or, here’s a thought – Disney World?

ABC is owned by Disney. It’s not like they’d have to get permission and pay stiff royalties. It’s the same company. Even their websites show the melding of their identities. (ABC TV, Walt Disney World)

While ABC is broadcasting for the NBA, they might want to look around and think about possibly setting up permanent shop in Orlando. Strategically located on the opposite end of the United States, but still in the eastern time zone, Orlando, a city built around Disney World, is a major entertainment destination, a family-friendly city, and a regular stop on celebrity tours. The cost of living is lower than New York City, so employees can live quite comfortably on lower salaries. ABC Disney already owns several buildings where the network could build their sets. Despite all the bad publicity about hurricanes in Florida, the city of Orlando is actually in the center of the state, far from the coast, and 98 feet above sea level. Yes, it can get quite hot in the summer, but mornings are usually cool and you simply can’t beat our balmy winters and moderate weather 8 months out of the year.

I suppose that at one time, it would have been next to impossible to base a major television network, much less a morning show, in a city other than New York. However, due to improved technology, television shows can now broadcast from the ends of the earth – literally.

Rather than continuously compete for viewership and a live, vivacious audience in densely network-populated New York, why not break the mold and move to Orlando? O-town welcomes you!

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