To the studios: STOP HOLDING TV ON DVD HOSTAGE!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by brett tolino, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    That's part of the problem. They're aiming low and hitting even lower. Not all fans of a certain show who would want DVDs of said show read these "niche magazines". I don't mean to imply that every studio should go and take out a full-page ad on the front page of the New York Times. They need to spread these things out beyond the niches.

    They've been playing it safe for far too long and the sales reflect (partly) those results.
     
  2. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I agree and recently had a conversation with a few guys that work with me on the job. They weren't aware of several big-name series that have been out on DVD for a couple of years. One example was "Get Smart". A couple of the guys said "WoW" when I told them about the complete series release by Time-Life. One guy is also an U.N.C.L.E. fanatic who will be getting that set from T/L when it's released this fall.
     
  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I also remember reading right here on HTF about a guy whose favorite show was "Cheyenne," and he didn't know it was on DVD until someone told him.

    Then I read about one HTFer's efforts to find season 1 of 227; a store clerk gave him a funny look, unaware that was the actual name of a long-running 1980s TV series.

    They're just not trying. It's like these shows are a well-kept secret at best (the government should be this good at keeping secrets from our enemies), or an embarrassment at worst to the studios. Even a kid putting up a lemonade stand knows you have to put up some flyers.
     
  4. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I may be in another dimension with this theory, but it may have to do with the age-old perception of a TV show vs a theatrical movie. I remember some of the major film stars from the 60's-80's as quoted that they "won't do TV again". I've always admired the star that have been willing to do a guest spot in a weekly series (or a miniseries). The lack of advertising/perceived secrecy may be due to "it's only a TV show" vs a film DVD release. Kudos to Gord/Dave and TSoD and the 'Bits for providing our "Mecca" for TV/DVD.
     
  5. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    That may be true; Rob Reiner encountered much of that supercilious attitude when he tried to break into directing features. Even that the TV show he had been on just happened to be "All in the Family" did not change people's perceptions at the time that TV people were "peons". Reminiscent of much of the theatre world's attitude towards movie people.
     
  6. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    That's one of the reasons why I've always liked James Garner . . . . he seemed to flip-flop effortlessly between theatrical films and television series without missing a beat. I assume that he liked to work and, as long as the scripts were good, he didn't seem to mind whether it was the big screen or the small screen.
     
  7. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    No, they don't. I have to go and find Home Media Retailing and dig up the story, but DVD sales are flat at best.

    Anyway, TV shows run the same problem as everything else in the DVD marketplace: there's simply too much new product on a weekly basis. There's no way to make consumers stand up and take notice of TV shows more than 10 years old.
     
  8. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Screenwriter

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    Hawaii Five-O has been marketed on TNT before the release of season 1 and 2. I saw a commercial for season 2 yesterday. I have to feel that some promotion could only have a positive effect on sales. Was extremely glad to see the ads as I wish more seasons to be available.
     
  9. alphanguy

    alphanguy Stunt Coordinator

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    When it comes to advertizing old shows, they need to be creative. the first thing I would do is to advertize these sets with RADIO SPOTS on OLDIES STATIONS across the country. People who listen to oldies stations are generally into nostalgia, and this is the perfect venue to advertize old shows, but I have yet to hear ONE commercial on an oldies station.
     
  10. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    The Article I read said DVD Sales were up 6 Percent.[​IMG]

    I guess it depend what source youre reading.

    (With the Quality of Today's TV Shows going down the Crapper I would not be surprised if DVD Sales begin to show an upturn, but then again...

    I guess we'll have to see!
     
  11. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    The problem is that "the product" is a TV show that has already been sold and recouped its cost (or maybe not), when it was first sold to a network for broadcast, and possibly again in syndication. It was never designed for home video sales, and when VHS first came on the scene, TV on VHS didn't take off in a huge way either because of the sheer cost and space constraints involved, so only limited shows with die-hard fan bases were released on VHS.

    DVD changed all that, and the studios are still trying to catch up. As are consumers: the biggest problem I would've thought facing 'classic' shows is limited resources, both on the part of the studios in investing in the remastering and rights issues related to a new DVD release, and on the consumers in 'which one do I buy'? The consumer's dollar is being stretched every which way, with new movies in the theatres, new-ish movies released on DVD, older movies released (or double-dipped with improvements) on DVD, or for that matter now hi def, cable subscriptions, new-ish TV shows on DVD, and classic TV shows getting a first release on DVD.

    So the studios have to be prudent in what they release, and how fast they release it all, and how much they spend on each release, whether up-front in costs, or in promoting it. Which inevitably leads to the other problem already discussed at length, in particular the Dynasty and Facts Of Life examples.

    Put it this way: if released classic TV on DVD were a guaranteed moneymaker, the studios would be all over it ASAP. But it isn't, and hence they are cautious. Also, what is a "must have" to one die-hard fan, is a "meh, never heard of it" to another. Don't take it personally...
     
  12. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    The problem with that is that they take a chance no matter what they release. There is always a chance that people will not replace their old discs of the same title with the double-dip version.

    The reason it is not a moneymaker is because they have no strategy for its release besides "aim low, hit lower." If they tried to put their best foot forward with any aspect of its release and failed, you would have a point.
     
  13. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Yee-Ming has some good points about this issue. I see both sides of this one. Like Yee-M said, we all should try to take it as [​IMG] as we can. I've been pretty fortunate in that a lot of the earlier-era series have been released completely or have 1-2 seasons released. For me, having the "Region-Free" option has given me more choices with a couple of series that are hung up in R1 legal limbo.

    I look at the sets that I've bought over the last couple of years and the list helps me wait it out for more of the late 50's/60's series.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    The problem with TV-on-DVD in the beginning is that shows were just thrown onto DVD seemingly willy-nilly, to see if some would stick. Some did, some didn't.

    I think the basic points Yee-Ming is stating are technically true, but it is also because the business model for movies does not work for TV shows. Had the studios taken a more reasonable approach of taking a couple of shows at a time and taking time to do the necessary research, restoration, clearance, and advertising this debate might not be necessary.
     
  15. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    A lot of that's because people are simply waiting out the blu-ray vs. hd wars before they go and invest more money in buying dvds. The studios know that; maybe that's why they've held back on an abundance of releases. As soon as that damn war is over, I'd expect dvd sales to practically double overnight.
     
  16. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'd take that bet. [​IMG]
     
  17. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Screenwriter

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    syndicated TV series are becoming more rare on your local TV stations. We grow impatient with certain shows coming out on DVD because this seems to be the only way we'll see certain shows. Right now I can't find a station playing Batman on my 200 cable channels. But damned if every channel seems to show the Wedding Singer twice a month. TVLand would rather waste hours on a Saturday showing movies thave have zero TV connections.
     
  18. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    The LACK of Quality TV Shows is the Primary Reason I stopped watching Cable TV this past January. Why should I shell out $60 a Month for a bunch of channels that not only show the same shows repeatably, but also cram more Commercials than ever before! I ony wish more people would do what I am Doing, as the ONLY THING that the Company's that own these Channels care about is that their Shareholders get their precious Stock Dividends. WE NEED A MASS BOYCOTT of Cable/Satellite TV! They CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT US! I have accumulated enough DVDs that I could watch OVER A YEAR of TV Shows without ever seeing the same show Twice! (Which is why I "Cut the Cord" so to speak) I can only imagine what would happen to the Entertainment and Information Industry if MILLIONS decided that "They were as mad as H-E-(Double Hockey Sticks) and they were'nt going to take it anymore" and Cancelled their Subscriptions en Masse!
     
  19. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Regulus, I agree except for sports channels [​IMG] I'm a sports junkie. But I agree about series proreamming. I also have enough DVD's to watch for more than a year. I wish we'd see a "rediscovery" of the 50's-70's, even 80's shows on some of these channels that used to air a lot of them.
     
  20. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    Sports are about the only thing going for the Networks. Unfortunately these are also being messed up to the hilt. The last time I watched a Baseball Game the first inningt went something like this: Ball, Strike, Strike, Out, Strike, Single, Strike, Strike (Commercial Break 5 Commercials) Out, Ball, Ball, Single, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike, (Commercial Break 5 Commercials) Out (Commercial Break 8 Commercials) and so on. I used to remember when they only showed the Commercials when the Teams switched sides at the Third Out, but now this is passe! Games that used to take Two Hours to play now last up to Four Hours because of all the Commercials they Cram In! Football, Basketball and other Sports have also suffered simularily. Sports Programming is also suffering in the TV Ratings, and the Networks can't figure out why! Sooner or later I feel people will get as fed up with Commercial TV as much as I am, and when that happens Look Out!
     

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