It's Sunday night in Los Angeles. The Grammy telecast just started on CBS, but I already saw Taylor Swift perform, heard Adele swept and Jennifer Hudson rocked her Whitney Houston encomium. The ceremony started hours ago here, but I'd have to be on the other side of the continent to see the live telecast. In the meantime, everyone I know on Facebook who lives on the other side of the continent has provided a running commentary of the program for the last three hours, so I have very little interest in watching it on TV. I have it on in the background just to check out the occasional performance, though I'm not too concerned about missing anything momentous because everything relevant will be on YouTube if it isn't already.
If my own habits are any indication of a larger behavioral pattern that I'm most likely coming to quite late, the justification for tape-delaying the Grammys to capitalize on primetime ad rates is being methodically sucked away by social media. Anyone on the West Coast with a couple of silicon chips to rub together already knows who won what, so the curiosity and wager incentives are null. The one glaring allurement that remains is something TV has over the web in spades if stations could be bothered, and that's audio. I'm certain CBS transmitted the telecast in 5.1, but I didn't hear a word about it. There may have been promos with a little "surround sound" tagline or such, but I didn't see one. The time to start barking about the Grammys in 5.1 is before the holidays when people are trampling each other at Walmart to buy things that plug in. So many opportunities have been lost to broadcast TV for name-your-reason, but sound could still make for a renaissance with the clueless MP3 generation.
Then they would really know how badly the Beach Boys slew Maroon 5.
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