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To the studios: STOP HOLDING TV ON DVD HOSTAGE!


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#1 of 113 brett tolino

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Posted August 02 2007 - 01:19 PM

I posted much of this on another thread but someone told me that the points made make it clear that this deserves its on thread.

First of all, I want to make it clear that I do NOT condone buying bootlegs but studios are leaving consumers with NO CHOICE.

I understand that there is quite a bit of things that go into preparation for a season of a tv show to be released on dvd. However, tv on dvd is approaching nearly 7 years -- that's almost a decade and way too many shows have not gone past Season One or Two.

We all understand that studios are in the business to make a profit but the attention span of the average consumer is not contingent on a 3-5 year wait, which is what the studios are doing in their snail paced way of releasing. For a show to be profitable, YOU THE STUDIOS need to attract more than just the enthusiasts who patronize dvd sites. We're just a very small niche of dedicated fans and we know when a show is coming out because we patronize the sites.

Right now, only the most profitable shows get continually released and there aren't many of them. Sure, shows like Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Dynasty, Party of Five, Knots Landing and scores of others are old favorites but studios need to realize that for these shows to be profitably released, they are going to have to do more than just relay the information to internet dvd sites because AverageJoeQPublic doesn't patronize the sites. For the shows to be profitable, the studios need to reach THAT audience and they are doing NOTHING to promote it to them.

How is your product supposed to sell if people don't know its out there? You want the show to sell, you say you would release more if people bought them but you the studios are doing nothing to reach people outside of the dvd enthusiasts. Its like a catch-22: We're not going to release more seasons unless they sell but we're not promoting it to people outside of the enthusiasts. And you NEED to reach that audience for the show to be profitable.

Add to that is the lack of quality, lack of extras and incentive for average joe public to lay down the big bucks you guys are charging for the older shows. It's almost like they're holding TV on DVD hostage: they want a lot of money to release them but won't do anything to promote it or give anyone any incentive to spend the bucks on those who are aware its coming out. So the enthusiasts who are supporting these measly releases are suffering for the studios lack of effort and greed.

To expect consumers NOT to go to bootleg sites is becoming irrational. You don't want to release them because they're not making megamillions yet you won't do anything to let people know its out there except by a free solicitation mention on an internet dvd site.

We the consumers are in a no-win situation. I have held back for over 7 years being patient, waiting, supporting your high priced, low quality releases with NO follow up. Again, you don't want to release them and you don't want people to go elsewhere to get it. That's not only not fair, its not rational.

Dynasty Season One was released two years ago. Now, Season 2 is out next week and NO ONE knows its coming out. A conversation with him prompted me to do this thread.

One of my best friends is a HUGE Dynasty fan. When I asked him if he was buying S2 next week, his exact words were, 'Its coming out next week? I had no idea. It's been two years since the last one so we'll see. The way they move, it could be 2009 before Season 3. And At the rate they're going, I could be dead before they ever get to Season 4."

Here is a die hard fan who never would have bought it had I not told him. Studios cannot expect consumers to do the promoting for them and they don't want to promote themselves. So now what's going to happen? No Season 3 because Season 2 didn't sell. Why? Because no one knew it was out.

Consumers are losing in a big way because of studios lack of effort and greed. Right now, the ONLY thing keeping tv on dvd alive are the enthusiasts and you're buring bridges with them with your refusal to release season and the number of years you make people wait when you do. You may own the rights but your refusal to release other seasons and your refusal to promote what you do, when you do is beginning to hurt you in a big way.

Stop holding TV Shows on DVD hostage or people will start going elsewhere.

It's that simple.

#2 of 113 MatthewA

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Posted August 02 2007 - 02:04 PM

I wouldn't say they were holding them hostage, because they technically are the studios' property. But I do agree that although they may not make zillions of dollars the first week of availability, the potential for steady profits is there if the studios knew how to present them, who to aim for, and what needed to be done.

Or cared.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#3 of 113 Regulus

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Posted August 02 2007 - 02:05 PM

Show some Patience Folks! New Shows are being released each week. If you are bent on a specific show you'll probably find yourself waiting for a long time for that specific show to come out. DVD Sales continue to rise each year, and I have a feeling the way the Broadcast. Cable and Satellite TV industry is treating its viewers lately something is going to happen in a few years (if not months) that will make DVD sales EXPLODE!Posted Image

DVD Collection Inventory: TV Episodes - 36,333 :biggrin: ( 746 Series ) :biggrin: Movies - 2,395   :B)   Serial Chapters - 1,201 :B)


#4 of 113 alphanguy

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Posted August 02 2007 - 02:18 PM

You know... funny you should mention that. I have Dish Network, and ma THIS CLOSE to canceling my 90$ per month service. Why? Because all I virtually watch is old TV shows, and since you can get so many things on DVD, and there are so many things I want to buy.... I almost feel I can spend my money better elsewhere, and i'll bet I'm not the only one.

#5 of 113 Corey3rd

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Posted August 02 2007 - 05:19 PM

I'm still amazed that all 6 seasons of Hogan's Hereos came out in such a short amount of time.
come see the reviews at
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#6 of 113 todd s

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Posted August 03 2007 - 07:15 AM

I think the biggest mistake is the price the studios charge. Older shows with zero extras should not be selling for $39 to $49. For example Baa Baa Black Sheep. The SRP is $39.99 for half a season!!! I love the show. But, to spend $40(or $30 after discounts) for half a season with no extras is too much. Especially, when most of these shows are available to watch on tv for free. Shows like this should have a SRP of $19.99. Same with other popular shows that are doing poorly on dvd. Or look at Knot's Landing. It also was $39.99, but at least it was the full season. But, when it came out the show was airing on tv twice a day. And their are 13 seasons. It was just too expensive.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#7 of 113 Tony J Case

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Posted August 03 2007 - 09:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by brett tolino
First of all, I want to make it clear that I do NOT condone buying bootlegs but studios are leaving consumers with NO CHOICE.

I agree with you about buying bootlegs, but man, I tells ya - seeing how neither Fox or Warner look to be getting off their asses any time soon, I'm *THIS* close to buying one of the bootlegs of Batman.

Studios - see my Huge Pile of Money? This pile of money could be YOURS if you came to some kind of agreement. Wait much longer and some filthy, evil Pirate will have my pile of money and not you.

#8 of 113 Craig S

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Posted August 03 2007 - 07:50 PM

Quote:
However, tv on dvd is approaching nearly 7 years -- that's almost a decade and way too many shows have not gone past Season One or Two.
Something to chew on... the CD medium is closing in on its 25th anniversary. Even so, there are STILL popular (gold & platinum) albums from the 70s that have never been released on CD.

The point is that everyone needs to face the facts - not everything is going to be released. Preparing this stuff takes time & money and the studios have limited resources. Plus, I think a lot of people here greatly overestimate the sales potential of some shows. This forum's membership is made up of enthusiasts and collectors, but we represent only a fraction of the buying public, most of whom are much more casual DVD consumers.

Frankly, I'm shocked at how much stuff HAS been released over the past 6-7 years. Back at the start of TV-on-DVD, I made a list of all the shows I might possibly want on DVD. The only show on that list that has not received some kind of release is "The Wonder Years" (which due to music rights issues seems to be the Holy Grail of TV-on-DVD releases). I realize many of you have lists with many more holes - but the studios can't put everything out at once. Have patience.

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#9 of 113 Joe Karlosi

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Posted August 03 2007 - 10:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig S
The point is that everyone needs to face the facts - not everything is going to be released. Preparing this stuff takes time & money and the studios have limited resources. Plus, I think a lot of people here greatly overestimate the sales potential of some shows. This forum's membership is made up of enthusiasts and collectors, but we represent only a fraction of the buying public, most of whom are much more casual DVD consumers.

Yeah, we know. Still, I also get annoyed that I can't get some of the old shows I want just because they were unfortunate enough to have been made many years ago before there was DVD, and therefore mass modern audiences don't really know them or give a hoot about them. So instead in recent years we've gotten stuck with "bankable" current releases like NEWLYWEDS: NICK AND JESSICA, or THE OSBOURNES, instead of LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE or FATHER KNOWS BEST! It's ridiculous. Finally, my long-awaited THE ODD COUPLE has been released, but since it's not a "new and popular" show, will Paramount release any seasons past season 2 ??

#10 of 113 Joe Karlosi

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Posted August 03 2007 - 10:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony J Case
I agree with you about buying bootlegs, but man, I tells ya - seeing how neither Fox or Warner look to be getting off their asses any time soon, I'm *THIS* close to buying one of the bootlegs of Batman.

Studios - see my Huge Pile of Money? This pile of money could be YOURS if you came to some kind of agreement. Wait much longer and some filthy, evil Pirate will have my pile of money and not you.

I hear you loud and clear.

#11 of 113 Robert13

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Posted August 04 2007 - 09:18 AM

I think many shows have been released over the past few years. The problem with tv-on-dvd is the release of further seasons. We don't see many shows get past the Season 1 or 2 mark and when we do it's a year or more until the possibility of the next season. Sony has released all of "Sanford & Son", "Good Times" and "What's Happening!!" but we're still waiting a year between each season of "All in the Family". It amazes me the whole series is not out yet. I understand future seasons depend on the successful sales of the previous one. However, the problem in that is with the marketing. I would not know some of these shows were even out on dvd unless I was searching for info on them. They are not advertised as much anymore. "Cagney & Lacey" was released recently and most stores did not carry the set. Sales suffered because of this and Season 2 seems unlikely at this point. The studios want sales but they have to understand that people may buy them if they know about them. You can't buy something you don't even know exists. For example, Sony did a promotional tour with "The Facts Of Life" cast members and sales for the first set were excellent. They planned a quick release for the next set to capitalize on demand. Season 3 sales were not as good, from what I've heard, because there wasn't much promo around it. It's pretty clear that the first set did well because people were aware of its release. How they release stuff without promo and wonder why it isn't selling is a mystery. You have to do something to let people know the product is out there.

#12 of 113 David Levine

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Posted August 04 2007 - 09:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
Yeah, we know. Still, I also get annoyed that I can't get some of the old shows I want just because they were unfortunate enough to have been made many years ago before there was DVD, and therefore mass modern audiences don't really know them or give a hoot about them. So instead in recent years we've gotten stuck with "bankable" current releases like NEWLYWEDS: NICK AND JESSICA, or THE OSBOURNES, instead of LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE or FATHER KNOWS BEST! It's ridiculous. Finally, my long-awaited THE ODD COUPLE has been released, but since it's not a "new and popular" show, will Paramount release any seasons past season 2 ??

I hear you. The problem is newer shows are much easier for the studios. They generally don't require clean-up or remastering, rights issues are usually not a problem, home video music publishing rights may already have been taken care of (at least on shows from the past 5 years or so), and you usually have easier access to the people who worked on the shows for ancillary materials.

Plus, as sad as it is, newer shows tend to outsell older shows. Even newer shows that didn't finish a full season because of ratings tend to outsell classic shows that had tremendous followings. I guess consumers see "new as better", or only feel that older shows have nostalgia value and think 1 season is all they need - if that.

#13 of 113 alphanguy

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Posted August 04 2007 - 04:12 PM

I have a question on this. For someone in the know..... why is it that these big studios don't license these other shows out to a third party company for release? It seems the perfect solution, they collect money from their property, and sit back on their butts and do nothing. The only reason I can think of them not licensing, is that they really DO intend on releasing these things in the future... theyr'e just going to bleed dry all the really lucrative shows FIRST, before they mess with the second string. i'm sure not even ONE release of TV on DVD has actually LOST money, theyr'e just greedy and sometimes clueless. I mean, does Warner actually think "Wait Till your Father Gets Home" is a more bankable title than "Shazam"? (Don't get me wrong, I love both)

#14 of 113 DeWilson

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Posted August 04 2007 - 05:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphanguy
I have a question on this. For someone in the know..... why is it that these big studios don't license these other shows out to a third party company for release? It seems the perfect solution, they collect money from their property, and sit back on their butts and do nothing. The only reason I can think of them not licensing, is that they really DO intend on releasing these things in the future... theyr'e just going to bleed dry all the really lucrative shows FIRST, before they mess with the second string. i'm sure not even ONE release of TV on DVD has actually LOST money, theyr'e just greedy and sometimes clueless. I mean, does Warner actually think "Wait Till your Father Gets Home" is a more bankable title than "Shazam"? (Don't get me wrong, I love both)

Why should any studio licence out some 30-50 year old tv product to just take up shelf space that is better suited for more recent tv shows that will sell better. Posted Image Plus why compete with yourself!

It's not like tv syndication where a syndicator, say "viacom", would sell shows to different stations in a tv market and they'd have one series they sold to one station running against a show they sold to another station.

The truth is the major studios don't need to licence out or even release older tv shows when they have just as many,or not more,recent shows and films that will sell better,have less clearance issues and better quality masters.

The only studio we know that has licenced to third parties is Universal, and that factor may be more related to the NBC purchase of Universal and trying to get the most value from their purchase.

Seems to me most of the licenced out to 3rd party shows are ones that are owned by their original production company/creators/stars (or their successors) rather than the studios who were involved with the production (or their successors) off the top of my head, examples can think of "Daniel Boone","That Girl", "Doris Day","Here's Lucy", "The Danny Thomas Show" , "Dark Shadows", "Ozzie and Harriet",Jackie Gleason's 1960's Color Honeymooners, and perhaps the biggest of the shows in this group, "The Dick Van Dyke Show".

#15 of 113 David Levine

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Posted August 04 2007 - 08:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphanguy
I have a question on this. For someone in the know..... why is it that these big studios don't license these other shows out to a third party company for release? It seems the perfect solution, they collect money from their property, and sit back on their butts and do nothing.

It's not quite like that. Even if a studio wants to license out a show, they still need to negotiate contracts, find and provide masters, approve every step, have their legal department sign off on everything, etc. For a show that isn't going to sell well, many studios consider it more effort than it's worth. Plus you need someone to want to license it. A small studio takes all those same risks, plus it has to pay the licensor a significant advance and a royalty on each sale. Sure the smaller company may be happier with a smaller number of units sold, but recouping deals isn't always easy.

Quote:
i'm sure not even ONE release of TV on DVD has actually LOST money

You'd be wrong. Just music clearance alone can easily make a show lose money. Even a more obscure show from the 70s can easily cost 50K to clear the music rights for a single season. Add in authoring, replication, packaging, advertising, etc, and suppose it sells less than 10,000 units (which is not uncommon). It's losing money badly.

#16 of 113 MatthewA

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Posted August 05 2007 - 12:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert13
I think many shows have been released over the past few years. The problem with tv-on-dvd is the release of further seasons. We don't see many shows get past the Season 1 or 2 mark and when we do it's a year or more until the possibility of the next season. Sony has released all of "Sanford & Son", "Good Times" and "What's Happening!!" but we're still waiting a year between each season of "All in the Family". It amazes me the whole series is not out yet. I understand future seasons depend on the successful sales of the previous one. However, the problem in that is with the marketing. I would not know some of these shows were even out on dvd unless I was searching for info on them. They are not advertised as much anymore. "Cagney & Lacey" was released recently and most stores did not carry the set. Sales suffered because of this and Season 2 seems unlikely at this point. The studios want sales but they have to understand that people may buy them if they know about them. You can't buy something you don't even know exists. For example, Sony did a promotional tour with "The Facts Of Life" cast members and sales for the first set were excellent. They planned a quick release for the next set to capitalize on demand. Season 3 sales were not as good, from what I've heard, because there wasn't much promo around it. It's pretty clear that the first set did well because people were aware of its release. How they release stuff without promo and wonder why it isn't selling is a mystery. You have to do something to let people know the product is out there.

I have been saying this over and over and over again. The hand-to-mouth approach for each season DOES. NOT. WORK. Never has, never will. When they did the "quick release" of The Facts of Life season 3, did they do one single, solitary ad or any follow-up promotion? No. In the event that future seasons come out, there will be no advertising.

Since Sony started with The Jeffersons in 2002, we are only now past the halfway point for a show that should be finished by now. No promotion has been done. Nor extras, which is especially shameful considering that three cast members have died since then, and it's too late now.

If any other product was sold this way, the people making it would be out of business in three weeks. This isn't "Field of Dreams."

This is not only bad business but an insult to the shows and their fans. If they don't advertise and have a planned time frame and release strategy for the entire series, they DESERVE to lose money. But it's us who suffer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Levine
Just music clearance alone can easily make a show lose money. Even a more obscure show from the 70s can easily cost 50K to clear the music rights for a single season. Add in authoring, replication, packaging, advertising, etc, and suppose it sells less than 10,000 units (which is not uncommon). It's losing money badly.

Of these theoretical shows, how many of them were advertised at all? Anywhere?

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#17 of 113 EricSchulz

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Posted August 05 2007 - 12:48 AM

RE: The marketing of subsequent seasons

Why don't the studios do what has been adopted by iTunes (and is one of my favorite features): E-MAIL NOTIFICATION!

When I buy a track (even the free "Single of the Week") and the full release comes out, I receive an email about it. They also have the "Alert Me" feature: let's say that Eric Clapton is your favorite artist; add him to your "Alert Me" list; whenever they add any Eric Clapton songs to iTunes you receive an email alert. It's a great feature for an artist that may sneak out unreleased/live/soundtrack work that you might not be aware of.

I'm taking a bit of a risk here, but sending out a mass email to the previous season owners of "Fact of Life" when a new season is about to be released is probably cheaper and more useful than a magazine ad or banner on a website.

#18 of 113 MatthewA

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Posted August 05 2007 - 02:49 AM

You'd have to register for that, and some people would not want to do that. Universal already does something like that, and their being kings of one-and-done, I get spam for theatrical releases I don't want.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#19 of 113 David Levine

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Posted August 05 2007 - 06:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewA
Of these theoretical shows, how many of them were advertised at all? Anywhere?

I'd say a decent amount of them have been. The thing is, when you have a show that doesn't have high expectations, it's suicide to spend a fortune advertising in major publications, so most of them advertise in smaller niche magazines/newspapers/etc. to try to at least get decent exposure among the target audience.

When a studio runs an ad in a major publication and spends well into 5 digits for a Best Buy circular (not to mention having to overship product because if you're in a circular the stores require a large amount of product) to end up scanning 15,000 units and absorbing a ton of returns because of it, you have to scale way back on S2 advertising.

#20 of 113 David Levine

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Posted August 05 2007 - 06:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSchulz
RE: The marketing of subsequent seasons

Why don't the studios do what has been adopted by iTunes (and is one of my favorite features): E-MAIL NOTIFICATION!

When I buy a track (even the free "Single of the Week") and the full release comes out, I receive an email about it. They also have the "Alert Me" feature: let's say that Eric Clapton is your favorite artist; add him to your "Alert Me" list; whenever they add any Eric Clapton songs to iTunes you receive an email alert. It's a great feature for an artist that may sneak out unreleased/live/soundtrack work that you might not be aware of.

I'm taking a bit of a risk here, but sending out a mass email to the previous season owners of "Fact of Life" when a new season is about to be released is probably cheaper and more useful than a magazine ad or banner on a website.

In theory it's a GREAT idea. I wish there was a better way to implement it. Like Matthew said, people are so used to getting burned by spam, that it's unlikely that most would bother to sign up.


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