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Perverse pricing for TV box sets


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#1 of 10 Anthony Neilson

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Posted February 13 2004 - 04:38 AM

The pricing policies for TV Box Sets are all over the place.

I can't understand why companies are charging the same amounts for first seasons - which are usually 12 episodes or so - as they do for all the other seasons. Surely it makes sense to charge as low a price as possible for first season sets, in order to entice people into buying the rest.

Over here, box set prices are plummeting fast and I've blind bought several series like THE SOPRANOS, THE SHIELD and ALIAS when they've become available for a reasonable sum. It's now more than likely that I'll buy the second seasons and probably be prepared to pay a little more, knowing that I like them. In fact, I've already bought Sopranos 2 and 3 for a higher price, though season 4 remains unacceptably expensive, imo.

I know there are exceptions to this - CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, SOAP, MARRIED WITH CHILDREN - but there are still stupid anomalies. The prices charged for the Star Trek sets (discused in another thread) are outrageous and charging the same for SEX AND THE CITY season 5 - 8 episodes only ! - as for seasons 2-4 seems positively self-defeating.

I'm sure if season one of LARRY SANDERS had been priced more modestly, we might have had the prospect of one day seeing season 2.
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#2 of 10 Gord Lacey

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Posted February 13 2004 - 05:17 AM

Anthony, I can't agree with you more in regards to Sex & The City. It's foolish to price an 18 episode set and 8 episode set the same. Now I could understand if the 8 episode set was loaded with extras, but it's not. I think HBO will feel a lot of heat from consumers over their pricing on that title.

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#3 of 10 Tony_Faville

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Posted February 13 2004 - 06:40 AM

Look at Fox, they release X-Files season sets for $120+ and yet they are able to release Buffy (and other season sets) for around $50.

Then you have the Sopranos... $80+ for 12 or 13 episodes?

#4 of 10 Dan Rudolph

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Posted February 13 2004 - 06:55 AM

Speaking of Fox, Look at The Shield. It has 13 episodes/season and is priced at $60, just like their 22 episode/season shows.
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#5 of 10 Scott Kimball

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Posted February 13 2004 - 07:02 AM

Remember that a lot of things affect the final price - music licensing, talent royalties, actual production costs... all of which are very different for every TV show.

This is not to defend TV on DVD pricing, but simply to point out that understanding what goes into it is a bit like figuring out sports blackouts on satellite tv... there's a lot more to it than meets the eye.

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#6 of 10 Chris Bardon

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Posted February 13 2004 - 07:56 AM

Well, I always kind of figured that the X-Files was priced like it was because it was the first kid on the block, and they didn't want to change prices midway through the run. The prices for the HBO stuff are pretty ridiculous, especially considering that everything I've heard says that they sell really well. When I can buy West Wing season 1 for $50 (22 or 24 episodes), but have to pay $85 for the Sopranos (or $55 for Oz), there's something wrong. I can actually understand something like Oz or Twin peaks costing a little more (more esoteric appeal), but the Sopranos?

I'm actually kind of surprised that prices are still as varied as they've become-the price for regular movie releases has pretty much settled out to an acceptable range ($20-27 brand new), but TV is all over the map.
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#7 of 10 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted February 13 2004 - 08:39 AM

Quote:
Anthony, I can't agree with you more in regards to Sex & The City. It's foolish to price an 18 episode set and 8 episode set the same. Now I could understand
if the 8 episode set was loaded with extras, but it's not. I think HBO will feel a lot of heat from consumers over their pricing on that title.

Gord, I agree with this, I still don't know what HBO was thinking along those lines, and that's why I'm fighting over whether or not to even buy season 5. I'll probably end up with it eventually but only if I can find it cheap.

Speaking of price odities remember that Columbia charged more for All in the Family Season 1, than they did for season 2. This was still in effect even recently, though season 1 was a 13 episode set and season 2 was a 24 episode set.

#8 of 10 MatthewLouwrens

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Posted February 13 2004 - 09:00 AM

Quote:
The prices for the HBO stuff are pretty ridiculous, especially considering that everything I've heard says that they sell really well.
Hell, if it's selling well, why change the high price and risk losing profits. That's what they're thinking.
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#9 of 10 Gord Lacey

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Posted February 13 2004 - 09:00 AM

It's only fair to compare prices of sets against other seasons of the same show. Like Scott said, there are far too many things that go into the price of a TV set to be able to fairly compare them.

Gord
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#10 of 10 MattHR

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Posted February 13 2004 - 11:30 AM

I agree that the pricing for TVonDVD is all over the place. However, I find most releases to be a great value for the money. To me (with the exception of S&tC-Season 5), HBO's series are excellent values. I figure THE SOPRANOS, at $100 retail, averages $25/disc, or just under $8/hour. Most recent movies retail for $25-$30. So the cost per hour of THE SOPRANOS averages less than most movies, and to me, far exceeds the quality of most recent movies. Also, since HBO's programs are available only on its pay channel, and not free network TV, audience access is limited. The nature of their programs (subject matter, running times, etc.) are also not structured for reruns in commercial-filled syndication on other networks. Besides their subscriber base, the only revenue from ancillary markets for their programs are home video and foreign networks. We won't be seeing SOPRANOS reruns between GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, FRIENDS, SAVED BY THE BELL and GOLDEN GIRLS anytime soon. Many TV shows end up making more money from reruns than they did during their original broadcasts.
Since SOPRANOS won't have this option, it seems fair to have a somewhat higher retail price for the DVD sets, IMHO.





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