Live media events are great, when they work. But watching live services like Twitter collapse around the Steve Jobs keynote this morning provides more great examples (if needed) why the Interweb isn’t yet TV.
While TV costs less to provide the more people watch, and me watching a show doesn’t make it less likely for it to come to your door, the Interweb still has an unfortunate tendency to explode in a shower of sparks and clang of munged gears when over-stressed during live/popular events.
Yes, you can spend your way out of this problem with fat data pipes, mirroring etc., that just takes something economical — web media — and makes it uneconomical. The web will never be a mature live mass communications medium until this scalability problem for breaking news goes inexpensively away.
Update: The Apple Store even went down briefly just now under the traffic. It was down for maintenance during the keynote, came back up, and then crashed completely for a few minutes afterward.