Summer 2006 Critics Poll: Respondents Heap Praise on Broadcast Net Web Sites

Jul 17, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Nobody appreciates a well-designed network Web site more than a television critic. On a regular basis, critics must browse channel sites for everything from what time “Deadliest Catch” airs on Discovery to the correct spelling of Edna Krabappel from “The Simpsons.”

Critics surveyed by TelevisionWeek had generous comments about most of the major broadcast networks’ Web sites. NBC garnered praise for its ease of use, while ABC received high marks for streaming video content and added features.

Victor Balta of The Herald in Everett, Wash., singled out the ABC site, “mostly because I have to include the ‘Lost’ fringe sites, which add so much to the experience [of the show], but also because it provides such great background information on shows, including blogs written by TV writers and producers.”

Among cable networks, HBO frequently received tall praise. “HBO’s actual program sites, whether it’s ‘Entourage,’ Deadwood’ or ‘The Sopranos,’ are classy, dignified and gorgeous to pore through,” wrote Alex Strachan of CanWest News Service. “They’re like reading a really cool coffee table book.”

Doug Elfman of the Chicago Sun-Times lamented sites with animation and graphics that slow down a network connection. “They try to be flashy instead of catchy and bog down your PCs and Macs with uninteresting crap,” he wrote.

Interestingly, none of the critics mentioned any of the cable broadband channels, such as MTV’s Overdrive or ESPN’s 360, that have received media attention and network promotion this past year.