Cold Case DVD Conundrum?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jim Beaver, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver Supporting Actor

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    I was really surprised at the Warner Bros chat where they said Cold Case is tied up in music rights. Haven't all new shows pretty much fixed this? Also and dosen't Warner own most of their shows music? I think I heard that some where?
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I was wondering the same thing. The only thing I can figure is that it was less money for them to use it ONLY on the broadcast.

    Say, for example, a song cost $25 to use forever and ever (broadcast, syndication, home video, whatever) but they could get the same song for only $10 if they only use it on the broadcast. I'm sure most TV shows don't have huge music budgets and so they looked at it as a necessary evil in cutting the cost.

    Obviously I'm using imaginary numbers but I think they still illustrate my theory. [​IMG]
     
  3. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Music rights are rarely that straight-forward. What exactly does Warner "own" in the case of their shows' music? Even if the songs were originally recorded for a Warner Music label, that doesn't give Warner Home Video, which is a separate entity, the right to use them. Also the artists who recorded the songs and even the song writers (who control the publishing rights) may have to give their own permission (for a suitable finacial consideration) to the use of their music. So Warner might own a song, but not the original artist's performance, and thus be forced to substitute a cover version for DVD.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Also, it's not just that Cold Case uses a LOT of music; the music they do use tends to be very recognizable, expensive stuff, as opposed to, say, Smallville, which uses more stuff from bands and songwriters whose negotiating position isn't as strong. I wouldn't doubt that Jerry Bruckheimer's policy on this show is "get the song for broadcast, let Warner Home Video worry about other rights later".
     
  5. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Bingo. What's surfaced lately is that the producers go through something akin to this:


    Exec #1: We've decided to use "Here Is My Love" by Tommy Dee in the next episode of our brand new show, Maude: The Next Generation.

    Exec #2: Wow, that song was a big hit. It's gonna cost some bucks to license!

    Exec #1: Yeah, but it's the perfect song for this scene!

    Exec #2: Okay, but we'll run over budget!

    Exec #1: How much? Well, not too much, if we skip the home video portion of the license...we'll cut down on the donut table selection that week, and just buy the broadcast rights for the song. IF our show goes to DVD later - and there's no guarantee of that, since we haven't even aired a single show yet - then we'll deal with it at the time.
     
  6. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Exec 2 - Yeah, but if it is a hit, we'll have to pay even more! And don't forget that we might be able to get EVEN more money from the DVD season set sales.

    Glenn
     
  7. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    I admire the dedication of this show's creative powers to putting top-quality period music on this show, but I blame them for this situation, not the music rights holders. More and more, DVDs give these shows a life far beyond syndnication and the makers of this show don't seem to care how their music decisions are affecting the program's legacy. I wonder why the makers of the show don't at least have a plan for some acceptable cheaper music to replace their first choice songs.
     
  8. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Because, as nice a revenue stream as DVD sales are, the network airings are still what pays the bills.

    CBS pays Warner/Bruckheimer at least $1M/episode for Cold Case. Fifty thousand sales of the season on DVD would probably be a great big success, and once wholesalers, replication, etc. are figured in, they'll get, what, $25/season set? So do you worry more about the rights for the audience that pays you $22M, or the one that pays you $1.25M?
     
  9. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Geez jason, way to skew the numbers to make a point! How about accounting for the Warner/Bruck's production costs for broadcast the same way you did for the DVD release?!

    --
    H
     
  10. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Okay, take replication out. That adds maybe $10 to the income per DVD set (although I doubt Warner is grossing $35 apiece for a DVD set that would reatil at about $60). CBS is still paying them ten times more per season than DVD sales are, and therefore CBS (and TNT or whoever winds up shelling out $5M/year for the third-run rights) merits licensing four or five highly recognizable songs per episode, while home video is not nearly as important a consideration during production.
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I thought syndication and foreign sales paid the bills, since most shows cost more to produce than what the networks pay in licensing fees. Shows are in the red until (unless) they get sold into syndication or elsewhere. Then they go into profit. (And the ones that don't last long enough for sales into secondary markets just lose money and the hit shows make up the difference.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  12. Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver Supporting Actor

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    Hey Gord or Dave have you heard anything about Cold Case getting over their music hurdle and if so is it coming to DVD anytime soon?
     
  13. HowardPaul

    HowardPaul Stunt Coordinator

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    Anything NEW on the possible release of Cold Case Season 1?
    Thanks
    Howard
     

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