Ominous signs for the tv on dvd/bluray market.

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by jcroy, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    (I don't want to sound too pessimistic). I have wondered what signs could possibly be strong indications of the end of the tv on dvd/blu-ray market as we know it. Here is a list of ominous signs I would be looking for in 2012 and later years. - Long running incumbent popular tv shows (such as CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, The Big Bang Theory, etc ...), stop releasing their previous year seasons on dvd/blu-ray. - TV shows on premium cable channels (ie. HBO, Showtime, etc ...) stop releasing seasons of their ongoing shows on dvd/blu-ray. Here is a list of slightly less ominous signs, but still worrying. - Canceled freshman tv shows which had a full season pickup, are not released on dvd/blu-ray at all. - The previous season of an ongoing tv show, is released only on blu-ray but not on dvd. What other ominous signs would you see?
     
  2. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    (I should explain this statement in more detail). Here's a list of renewed and canceled tv shows from last season (2010-2011). http://tvdonewright.com/2011-2012-preview/2011-2012-renewal-pilots-cancellation-chart/ There were several canceled freshman tv shows which had a full season pickup, which were subsequently released on dvd. - Outsourced - Law & Order Los Angeles - The Event - Detroit 1-8-7 There were several canceled freshman tv shows which did not have a full season pickup, which were subsequently released on dvd. - Mr. Sunshine - Off The Map - Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior A more interesting case is the canceled freshman show "The Defenders". According to wikipedia, it asserts that the series went "straight to streaming" via Netflix's "Watch Instantly" streaming service. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Defenders_%282010_TV_series%29 An "ominous sign" for the tv to dvd/blu-ray market, could be if canceled freshman shows which were subsequently released on dvd (such as "Law & Order Los Angeles", "The Event", "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior", etc ...), had instead ended up going the "straight to streaming" (vix Netflix) route and bypassing the dvd/blu-ray market completely. I wouldn't be surprised if the "straight to streaming" route bypassing the dvd/blu-ray market completely for marginal and/or less popular tv shows and movies, becomes more and more popular in the future. The movie companies don't have to deal with physical merchandise any longer, for tv shows they don't think will sell enough physical copies.
     
  3. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    I wouldn't be that worried: after all, there's so much stuff out there already and I'm sure that the fans of certain shows would make damn sure their stuff got released.
     
  4. Guy Foulard

    Guy Foulard Second Unit

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    "Canceled freshman tv shows which had a full season pickup, are not released on dvd/blu-ray at all." I'm not sure this should really be considered an "ominous" sign for the market...these are after all shows that quickly failed in their primary market (broadcast television), so they're not really ideal fodder for secondary release (even if they have a small group of fans).
     
  5. Albert_M

    Albert_M Supporting Actor

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    I'm sorry, - I'm not following, the basis is shows like Outsourced and other similar shows that most people forgot about, if they knew them at to begin with, or hope to forget about. There are changing dynamics at play, but serious signs would be popular shows not getting released.
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    I remember recently going through the bargain bins and finding all kinds of forgettable shows on dvd, which appeared to be released during the heydays of tv on dvd. (For example, tv shows like Boomtown, Sleeper Cell, Conviction, Kidnapped, Canterbury's Law, etc ...). IIRC, places like Best Buy had dvd sections stocked with stuff like this back in the mid-late 2000's. Recently when I checked out places like Walmart, Best Buy, etc ... there seemed to be very few dvds of marginal or forgettable tv shows. Perhaps I've been looking at things completely wrong. :huh: Maybe what I'm seeing is the bottom falling out from the tv on dvd market, compounded with the recession, where dvds of marginal stuff doesn't stand much of a chance on the market today. During better economic times, marginal stuff perhaps still had a fighting chance on the market.
    Even in the case of some popular tv shows, some didn't gain much traction in the dvd market, such as some reality shows (ie. Survivor, The Amazing Race, American Idol, The Apprentice, etc ...), and even some long running scripted tv shows like "Without A Trace" (in region 1), Cold Case, etc ... I will agree that popular scripted tv shows that had a past track record of regularly releasing dvd seasons, which suddenly stop releasing dvd seasons, are a much more serious sign.
     
  7. Towergrove

    Towergrove Screenwriter

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    You mention straight to streaming without mentioning download to own? They would probably go that route as well.
     
  8. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    I haven't thought of it this way. It would definitely be more serious, if the studios eliminated the "download to own" option and only went "straight to streaming". (Especially if the studios' intentions are to minimize "ownership" of downloaded video files. Though in practice, they probably won't be able to eliminate ownership entirely. But they can sure put up a lot of roadblocks.) I can see the studios attempting to do something like this, long after the mass market for pressed dvds is already gone. That is, after the dvd/blu-ray/etc ... optical disk market has already become a "niche" market. At this point in time, the major examples of "straight to streaming" I can think of offhand, would perhaps be for stuff like live events such as the news, sports, politics (ie. c-span), etc ... Not much of an extensive dvd or "download to own" market for the news, sports, cspan, etc ...
     
  9. Towergrove

    Towergrove Screenwriter

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    IF the studios intentions were to minimize "ownership" we would not be seeing programs like Ultraviolet coming to market. Even Disneys All Access Keychest touts ownership. Ultraviolet is where the studios are working to be. You can now download or stream your Ultraviolet purchases. Starting December 20th you will be able to burn a DVD from your Ultraviolet Account (at least that is what their website is telling me). The studios want to sell you their content as they make more money off the sale rather than the rental. Straight to streaming would bring digital pennys to the studio coffers.


    Also not everyone wants tethered streaming. There will be many ways to get content in the future and streaming will be one of them True but they will also support the other markets as well. Sale and Rental will Co Exist.
     
  10. vnisanian2001

    vnisanian2001 Supporting Actor

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    The TV-on-DVD/Bluray market is alive and well. Don't believe any of the nonsense that it's gonna die really soon.
     
  11. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I guess that would depend on what era's TV shows that you're referring to, as to BR TV/DVD release trends. I don't see a positive trend for BR TV show releases from the 50's thru the 80's. If you're referring to recent TV show BR releases, then yes, I'd agree with your post.
     
  12. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I see it the same way Jeff, and it's even more pronounced if we are talking b/w 50's and 60's shows. What's really crazy about the good fortune we've seen with Shout and Timeless continuing to churn out vintage shows is that even Brian Ward (producer at Shout) readily admits the classic dvd market is very slow right now. He said very little is moving, yet that company is able to keep up a pretty brisk pace of vintage TV releases. And we can thank Timeless for continuing to release oldies for two main reasons: 1) the deal they struck with Uni which has really opened the flood gates (or at least kept them open) and 2) the owner of Timeless is just flat out a huge westerns fan. Advocates in high places always, I repeat always, help tremendously!!


    Getting back to the future of TV/DVD on BR - I don't see much of a future for older stuff. I'll change my tune when I start seeing releases of Perry Mason, Leave it to Beaver, Rawhide, and The Dick Van Dyke Show on BR. Better yet, if we start seeing some older classics that didn't have a standard DVD release come out on BR I'll really change my tune. If I see Our Miss Brooks or Bachelor Father released on BR then we'll be talking about something significant. But I'm not holding my breath.


    But for Shout and Timeless, we'd be looking at exactly what some of us talked about last year at this time - a dearth of vintage TV on DVD. The large studios, even CBS/Paramount, really did slow down their classic releases in 2011 (some way before 2011). There's no denying that. But thankfully we had two independents step up to the plate this past year and really help us out. I shutter to think where vintage TV fans would be right now but for them.



    Gary "not looking to BR to 'save' 50's/60's TV" O.
     
  13. vnisanian2001

    vnisanian2001 Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, I don't mean for BR to save 50s/60s TV. I should have said just DVD. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  14. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    I agree. The same can probably be said about tv shows from the 1980's and 1990's. At the present time, I don't have much hope for seeing 80's shows like Magnum PI, Knight Rider, The A-Team, The Dukes of Hazzard, etc ... being released on blu-ray. Despite my reservations about Mill Creek (ie. crappy packaging, etc ...), it is cool that they are still keeping in print some older Stephen J. Cannell produced shows. (Back in the day, I was a big fan of Cannell produced shows). It is cool that Shout! Factory is releasing some 70's and 80's stuff on dvd which appeared to be either "orphaned" by their original companies such as Police Woman, Kojak, Simon & Simon, etc ... or were less popular one-season shows like Street Hawk, Max Headroom, etc ...
     
  15. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    And don't forget that Shout continues to dip into the 50's/60's as well (Dennis, Adam 12, Hazel and the Underdog set), albeit that era seems to be dropping off their radar quickly. There are still some great 50's and early 60's series I thought they might try to tap into, but I do believe they are concentrating more on color shows now. We'll see if they offer a pleasant surprise (a b/w show) sometime early next year.



    Gary "Dobie Gillis is a series, for one example, that I think would be right up Shout's alley - but I believe that one has been stuck in legal mire for some time now" O.
     
  16. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Np :) I was mainly referring to those that expect a BR-release rise regarding the older shows. I haven't seen that. As the Wendy's commercial used to say. "Show me the beef", and I'll believe it. [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Shout's a [​IMG] in my book. There's no "credibility" issue there for me.
     
  17. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    In regard to tv on blu-ray, it seems to be a mixed bag. Some popular long running incumbent tv shows have not been released on blu-ray at all, or only released one or two seasons on blu-ray and then stopped. For example, ongoing police procedural shows like: the CSI franchise, Law & Order SVU, Criminal Minds, the NCIS franchise, The Mentalist, Lie To Me, The Closer, Castle, The Glades, Psych, etc ... On the other hand, there are some less popular tv shows which have had regularly released seasons on blu-ray such as: Dexter, Mad Men, Chuck, Fringe, Heroes, V, Weeds, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Sons of Anarchy, Sanctuary, etc ...
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    When it comes to TV on Blu-ray/DVD, ratings are virtually meaningless though. Sales are the big thing. A show with a loyal but small fanbase that buys the show on disc is likely to keep getting a Blu-ray release and just because a show has a large viewership, it isn't guaranteed to have a loyal enough audience that buys the show on Blu-ray/ DVD. For example, I'm sure Lie To Me had more viewers than Futurama has but Fox continues to release Futurama on Blu-ray because it sold better than Lie To Me.
     
  19. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    On a similar line of thought, perhaps this is the same reason as to why MTV/Paramount is releasing this season's Beavis and Butthead on blu-ray (on Feb 14, 2012). http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Beavis-Butt-head-Volume-4/16232 They're probably betting that enough hardcore Beavis and Butthead fans will pick up the blu-ray.
     
  20. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    At times I wonder whether popular shows like CSI, Criminal Minds, Law & Order, etc ... actually make more revenue from off-network syndication (ie. reruns on Spike, AETV, etc ...), than from selling season dvd sets. (We have no way of knowing for sure, whether this is the case). In my little corner of the world, most of the people I know offline who regularly watch shows like CSI and/or Law & Order, have no interest in buying the season dvd sets of either show. They usually just watch the CSI reruns on Spike and AETV, almost every day. Personally I only know one person (out of a sample size of around 30 or so friends who regularly watch CSI), who has actually bought any of the season dvd sets of CSI. These days I see many of the dvd sets of older CSI seasons in the bargain bins, for around $15 or less. In my case, I have not picked up any of the CSI dvd sets, largely because I have seen so many of the episodes multiple times in reruns. So unless the older CSI season dvd sets start showing up for around $5 a pop in the bargain bins, I don't have much interest in buying them at this point in time. For shows like CSI which are rerun several times every day, at times I wonder whether this has drastically affected the sales of the season dvd sets. Personally I would be more inclined to buy the CSI season dvd sets, if the show was not rerun on Spike and AETV every day.
     

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