Need more proof that all media is converging into one big bucket of bits? Today, NBC television will be debuting their version of the hit British comedy "The Office" on the web instead of on network television. The premier episode will be webcast beginning today at the "MySpace.com" website. It will not debut on TV for another week.
If this isn't a sign of just how much the media universe has changed in recent years, than I don't know what is. But beyond what this says about the changing nature of modern media, the really interesting question this raises yet again is how lawmakers plan to censor media in the future. If just as many people are streaming or webcasting a new show as are watching in on traditional over-the-air television, does that mean Congress will start regulating indecency on the Net too?
This isn't just a theoretical question. As I pointed out yesterday, with Congress now entertaining multiple proposals to regulate indecency on cable and satellite in some fashion, it's just a matter of time before all of it will be rolled onto the Internet as well. It'll all get struck down in court of course, but that doesn't mean Congress isn't going to try to make it happen anyway.