Happy Birthday TechTV

Although there won’t be much of a celebration on-air – I’m on vacation and The Screen Savers are taking a dark day today – Saturday, May 11, is the fourth anniversary of the launch of TechTV (and The Screen Savers and Call for Help).
In past years the company has thrown big parties to celebrate, but this year, in the aftermath of two big layoffs, we’re not doing much. Only half of the original staff members are still around. Many of the launch shows are gone. We’ve even lost some key markets in Las Vegas and New Jersey.

There are some things to celebrate, though. The total number of subscribers continues to grow. More than 30 million households get TechTV now, which makes us a viable cable network. And we did very well in the April ratings book:

SAN FRANCISCO, May 9, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — TechTV, the only 24-hour cable television network dedicated to showcasing the impact technology has on our everyday lives and the world at large, delivers cable’s highest concentration of Adults 18-49 and Men 25-54. Based on monthly data now available from Nielsen Media Research, TechTV ranked #1 for Men 25-54 and Adults 18-49 in VPVH (Viewer per 1000 Viewing Households) for the month of April. TechTV’s VPVH of 870 for Adults 18-49 and of 627 for Men 25-54 ranked it above all other cable networks in April.

It’s not the same as being #1 in the ratings, but it should help us win some advertising buys.

So happy birthday, TechTV. It’s been a long strange trip, with many twists. I feel a lot older than when I started (and I look it, too). But I still believe in our core mission: to empower people through technology. There’s a long way to go still on that front, and TechTV continues to lead the way.

34 Replies to “Happy Birthday TechTV”

  1. Leo you guys are doing a great job, keep it up and you will find yourselves in 60 million homes.
    I become a bigger fan of The screen savers and Tech tv everyday.

  2. Happy TechTV birthday Leo. I only recently started watching with any reglarity (October). I love The Screensavers, and I hope there are many more birthdays for you all to come. You all look like you are having a ball doing the show, which is one of the main reasons I stopped channel surfing long enough to get hooked on your show. I bet 90% of working people dont enjoy their work as much as you guys do and most regular TSS vewers enjoy watching you guys do it. Good times and bad times, your lucky to have picked a career that affords you the opportunity to work with so many friends. So enjoy this birthday. There may be fewer staff to celebrate with, but those who are still with you still make it a good day.

  3. Congratulations! It is really a great achievement! I am barely in your demographic, but finding Tech TV was certainly the highlight in the wasteland of the tv wilderness! Rock ON!
    I know the situation for celebration (with the layoffs) seems difficult, but you should all do something to commemorate the occasion! Kudos to all involved.

  4. I was able to see ZDTV when it started in satellite – when I first saw ‘The Screen Savers’ and ‘Call for Help’ with such other programs as ‘Silicon Spin’, ‘Fresh Gear’, etc…It has definetly changed – most people see changes in programming, new faces, etc – but I’ve also noticed the internal changes – mostly on the Netcam department. Today, I find that the organization and structure of TSS is a bit messy – or at least not as straight to the point as before – but then I think that it might just as well be the layoffs and how people now have to do what others did in the past.
    In end – TechTV should reconsider what it’s doing with it’s programming – the network is becoming more mixed up every day – if you are getting more subscribers – why are they then laying off more people? That doesn’t even makes sence. Technology is currently on hold for the common people – but then again, where does TechTV wants it’s main focus in?
    We’ve seen many tech companies come and go because mainly these were too advanced for their time – one excellent example: Play Incorporated with it’s Trinity broadcast program – too advanced for it’s days and it simply went bankrumpt. TechTV is yet another company doing quite the same – focusing on one area of technology: let’s talk about technology, in all of it’s variety of ways. (with that I include the stupid lost of Silicon Spin and other great shows that helped people with their common problems)

  5. I am extremely disappointed in TechTV! Since they bought ZDTV, the channel has gone down. And without Internet Tonight, Silicon Spin, other original shows… in cluding the original ScreenSavers ESPECIALLY KATE BOTELLO!!! I WANT KATE I WANT KATE!!! TechTV sucks!

  6. hi leo,
    Tech tv is my favorite channel but it seems like techtv is moving away from technology.I found silicon spin to be very interesting but i dont know why they cancelled it.Dvorak rules so do u.
    I just have one request for u leo (Please,no more celebrity interviews by Martin,but more geeky stuff).That segment is boring.
    Hey iam getting off topic.Happy birthday techtv and hope it will be a good year ahead.Leo,whats coming up next.

  7. For those of you wondering, VPVH is a broadcasting term for “Viewers Per Viewing Household” which for a cable network is the ratio between people who are watching, and people who could be watching… basically saying those people who don’t get TechTV don’t count, but those who do get TechTV and watch something else do.
    This means two things:
    1. It’s highly likely TechTV could pull better ratings if it was better distributed.
    2. People seem to be making provider decisions based on the availablity of TechTV. (I.E. Moving to Digital Cable or DBS because TechTV isn’t on analog in their area.)

  8. Actually it’s wierder than that. VPVH is the percentage of people who are *already* watching TechTV that are in a specific demographic. In other words, about three-quarters of the people who watch TechTV are men 25-54. It has nothing to do with the NUMBER of people watching – just how many of the ones who do are in a specifc group.
    The more niche the channel, the more focused the demo. It helps ad buys if the advertiser is looking to target a particular demo.

  9. I don’t care how they figure out all the rating’s, just as long as you guys are still on the tv and still having fun. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TechTV. I watch you guys every single day and sometimes I even watch the repeats just to see if I missed anything. You all are doing an awesome job, even Martin hahah.Happy Birthday again guys, I wish you many, many more.

  10. Congrats to everyone at TTV – here’s hoping this is the first in many, many pieces of good news to come!

  11. Leo, I must say I was very dissapointed when TechTV was taken off here in Las Vegas. I know quite a few people that watched you guys every day, me being one, and it truly was a channel that I enjoyed. When I visit my boyfriend in Phoenix I always watch you guys, and I got to “meet” Patrick at Comdex this past year so that was really neat.
    Congrats! And hopefully Cox Cable will come to their senses soon haha 🙂

  12. they should get rid of cox and go with charter cable…hehe.paul allen owns both techtv and charter…we won’t be losing techtv for a loooooong time…hehe
    happy b-day to techtv i will miss all those who got the axe but hope more NEW friends will come….
    does this mean that you will not be blogging till may 11 ?????

  13. The most common remark I hear about your show is ” I’d like them if I didn’t HAVE a computer… ” and also “Did you ever think you’d look forward to re-runs?” Keep it up, GREAT SHOW!!!

  14. Happy Birthday TechTV and Thank You for making a proud Geek out of me: Call for Help inspired me to, among other things, learn to do websites. The Screen Savers with Kate and Leo. Kate gave me the courage to explore, learn more about computers and become a proud Girl Geek. Internet Tonight kept me up on the wild wonderful world of the World Wide Web. Tech News kept me informed on technology.
    When people asked me where I learned or saw something about tech or computers, more oft than not I’d say: “Leo said…” or “I saw/heard it on ZDTV/TechTV”. I even got to ask Leo a question on-air as a segment about POP Mail on Call for Help! That tape is one of my cherished posessions! : )
    I haven’t seen TechTV in a while because I live in Las Vegas, one of the markets TechTV lost. I go on record sayint that the stupidest thing Cox Communications ever did was move to TechTV to digital. There are a lot of us who watched on cable, and a lot more who would have come into the TechTV fold. But Cox blew it. Big Time.
    I’m sorry to hear about the lay-offs and the discontiuation of some of the shows I used to watch like Silcon Spin and Internet Tonight. But I’m glad to see Leo and the gang are still there, helping to make the world more informed about technology.
    I’m happy to say that I got to sit in the audience for some of the live broadcasts from COMDEX, and I got to meet some of the TechTV people. They were all gracious and generous and wonderful to the many fans that came by to see them and say “Hello”.
    Thanks…and once again: Happy Birthday, TechTV. May you have many more!

  15. Happy B-Day Tech TV!!!! I have been a proud watcher for over three years. Its my most favorite channel on tv. I watch Call for Help and The Screen Savers daily. Have to have my Tech fix! I to was very dissappointed when Cox here in Las Vegas moved the channel to digital. I tried their digital service and needless to say it lasted less than 24 hours in my house. When I first learned they were moving Tech TV to their digital service I called them up and asked why? They said more people wanted Court Tv!!! So I said well if you wont keep it then Im getting Direct TV! And before they could interrupt my Tech TV I had my satellite was installed and I never missed a show. It beats digital cable hands down. Cox was foolish for taking away the best channel they had!! They have soured me on their service! Best of everything to you Leo. And thanks for all the good shows and help. Thanks to The Screen Savers I learned to build my own PC. So keep it coming.

  16. You could be in 60 million homes now, if you got rid of Perillo and brought back Herriot. 🙂
    Happy Birthday Tech TV!!!

  17. Still a great network, but with the removal of Dvorak and ‘Silicon Spin’, don’t the execs. care about the demographic they’re boasting about? Dvorak was great, and I suspect Leo is saddened by his removal. Bring him back!! You need more ADULTS on Tech TV!!!

  18. HEY LEO
    I have been watching techtv for over two years now.I got it when mom
    changed from primestar to directv.You guys have taught me a lot.My
    favorite shows our MOST OF ALL (THE SCREEN SAVERS) and EXTENDED PLAY and
    TECH LIVE.Keep up the goood work…….

  19. Congrats on the anniversary of TechTV. I think the station hit its high when they first started TechLive. It had lots of glitzy graphics, lots of stock info, lots of talking heads. It was 9 hours per day and I loved it. Then most of the people got laid off! 🙁 Things got so bad that the TechLive portion is done once at night and we see repeats for the rest of the time. This sucks!
    Actually, the quality of TechTV has taken a nosedive, IMO. Too many repeats, too many awful repetive commercials. Shows like Silicon Spin, which I enjoyed, are gone now, replaced by drivel like Eyedrops. If you guys don’t see the handwriting on the wall, then there’s not much hope.
    On a more cheerful note: Somehow I still watch the show. My c-band satellite dish lost its actuator arm. I missed watching TechTV, regardless of my complaints, and had to take drastic action. I managed to get some extra play out of the actuator arm. This allowed me to manually search for the F4-12 satellite transponder. It took some doing but I got it. Your network is being received now due to my using a vicegrip to hold the dish in its proper alignment until my replacement actuator arrives in the mail. If you guys lay off anymore people and make the network get worse, off comes the vicegrip! You have been warned! …and give us Louderback again!!!
    – Herb Koenig –
    —=== As you sow, so shall you reap! ===—

  20. Bring Tech TV back to Toms River, NJ!!!
    One of the largest fanbases way back from the days of ZDTV.

  21. Thank god for Tech Tv.Especially the screen savers.Finally straight forward
    answers in a laid back enviroment.If layoffs are around the corner some may want
    to try teaching.For computer programmers they might want to contact inventory
    companies.These companies are pretty stable and would love solid managable
    programs for their machines.

  22. I just wish that the Screensavers would get back to basics. I don’t see the need for some of the interviews that I am seeing. I love computers and that’s why I tune in. It’s as simple as that. Also I wish you could sell your spots to computer related ads. Thank God, for my PVR, I use it to skip all those lame ads. Leo, please learn this once and for all… 24 bit color = 16.7 million colors not 4 or 5 as I hear you quoting all the time. The equation is
    number of colors = 2^no. of bits. 24 bit color = 2 raised to the 24th power.
    Please, more geek stuff, no interviews!

  23. Haven’t had TTV for some time, now that I have it again, newly added to Mediacom, what happened to kate? And who are these new geeks?
    TSS has gone downhill, sorry to see that.

  24. I must say I was rather disappointed (read: extremely pissed off) when TechTV was removed from Toms River since we were with you since the ZDTV days (ahhh the many calls I made to Adelphia begging ZDTV to be taken off the share channel with the local stuf fand given it’s own channel) and then Comcast came in and screwed up the whole damn area, including removal of TechTV (we now have three Spanish channels and at least three religious channels). I was even more disappointed when Crapcast removed it in north Jersey since I do spend a lot of time at a friend’s in Rahway and an aunt’s in New Providence. My only outlet now is my dad’s friend with DirecTV.
    So I’d say congratulations, but I’m not seeing anything to congratulate about.

  25. Hi Leo, I was in one of those markets you lost in Jersey. I was up in arms when I woke up one morning and flipped on the tv to watch TechTV. I was watching the YES network. I don’t even like sports. To make a long story short, I had directtv by sundown and canceled cable. That’s what they get! I gotta have my TechTV!

  26. Congratulations on the select ratings there. I do hope that TechTV can find some more sponsorship. Although I don’t like to see too many commercials, there is way too much in house work being shown during commercial segments. Happy Birthday to the whole crew. And here’s to many more to come (**cling**)!

  27. Chris is nice, and he’s good in Call for Help, too. I didn’t watch Silicon Spin much anyway… it was on at a weird time… and Dvorak mumbled sometimes…
    I regret the layoffs and hope for any new people to be nicer than the old.
    Congratulations on good ratings!

  28. Happy B-day Tech TV. I’ve been watching since before you were born, back when it all began as a handful of ZD programs using purchased airtime on the Mind Extension University Network (later renamed Jones Computer Network). From that very humble start, ZD got the idea to make their own channel and ZDTV was eventually born.
    And then it became Tech TV and now it’s four years old.
    Enjoy you well-earned birthday cake, my friends. We’re still watching, waiting to see our child grow and grow.

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