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The era of TV shows on DVD is coming to an end

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Neil Brock, Mar 11, 2019.

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  1. Message #41 of 94 Mar 13, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Second Unit

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    Completely agree with this. A specific example that I remember: As a teen in the late '80's, I wanted to see the original Mission: Impossible series (1966-1973). I had never seen much of the show, but had heard it praised highly by older relatives. Unfortunately, the series was either never re-run at all, or re-run at odd times late at night; it was a hassle to set the VCR to tape this, so outside of 2-3 heavily edited taped episodes with sub-par PQ & stupid commercials, I never saw much of this.

    Flash-forward 20+ years. The entire classic series was put on DVD in the 20XX's; and, I eventually watched every season back to back. I now I feel it was one of the greatest TV shows ever made. So, if it weren't for TV shows being put on DVD, I would probably never have seen the series. Sure, there's streaming these days - but older shows like MI aren't always available on these sites.
     
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  2. Message #42 of 94 Mar 13, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
    LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    On the subject of HANK selling very poorly , I'd like to make some comments . I'm glad WBA released it , but I purchased it as a "blind buy ". I'd never seen even one episode back when it originally aired . As I mentioned in an earlier post , I wound up enjoying the crazy nonsensical plots and Dick Kalman's ( among other cast member's ) performance . I'm very interested in vintage TV so I took a chance. Now if I never heard of this show , what about the average man on the street with minimal interest in purchasing old TV shows on DVD. And where would they even have a chance to see a copy and think about buying it? They're not going to see it in a store , and the show hasn't run on TV since it's initial run. The surprise is not that it sold poorly , but that it sold at all. I don't know how many copies would need to be sold to break even , but let's say 2000. How are you going to sell those units of a show that wasn't popular during it's initial run and hasn't been seen in many years? Warner Brothers should have surmised that this show would sell a minimal amount .
    Remember in the early days of home video when companies like Shout Factory ran TV ads for That Girl, and CBS ran TV ads for Have Gun Will Travel and Untouchables. If you want people to know that shows are available that's one way to do it . But a show like Hank would always have a limited audience .
    I know that Universal is in the process of digitally remastering it's entire library . I'd hope Warner Brothers is doing the same thing for posterity. If so, than preservation is the main goal, so making the show available to the limited amount of interested parties is just an extra.
    I'd bet that if Warners was able to release a show like 77 Sunset Strip sales would be much healthier . Again who knows how many they would need to sell to break even. And I understand that music rights clearance issues would prevent the release of that show .
    Still I do hope we will see the occasional vintage TV release . I'm still interested .
     
  3. DaveHof3

    DaveHof3 Stunt Coordinator

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    This thread makes me wish I bought two sets of every title I own.
     
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  4. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    Is that true about Universal, that they are digitizing their whole library? If so, its a shame they couldn't have done it ten years sooner. DVD sales have plummeted and shows which would have gotten a release had elements been available a decade ago, would not attract any interested parties to licensing them today.

    Regarding Hank, the sales amount was an abysmal, although not unexpected, 180 units. But as you said, it was a show unseen in 50 years. Never rerun. No prints circulating. Not even available in the major archives, save for 2 black and white prints at Library of Congress. The fact is, there is so limited a market for a show unseen in decades and without one familiar name in the cast.
     
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  5. Pathfiner

    Pathfiner Second Unit

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    would - if true - Universal digitizing it's whole library give shows like The Name of The Game any chance of ever seeing light of day again even if only on TV reruns like COZI TV did a while ago ?

    I have thought TNOTG was never likely to ever appear for several reasons - episodes recorded on varying formats requiring standardising, the dreaded music clearance issues, probably legal issues re estates etc, the old not a deemed big enough market for it now excuse, the world needing to be moved a little bit to the left or whatever...

    do NBC Universal even remember they ever made it;...?
     
  6. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    I thought the point of MOD is that there is no wasted cost though. 180, or 18,000 it is always a win/win for the studio Every unit sold is pure profit anyway, so why can't every unreleased show be put on disc?
     
  7. Worth

    Worth Cinematographer

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    There are a lot of hidden legal clearance issues involved in releasing a show on home video, MOD or not. If it's only likely to sell a few hundred copies, it's just not worth it.
     
  8. ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Supporting Actor

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    If the DVD age of classic TV is ending, there probably wouldn't seem to be much hope for it available for streaming, either, no? Because in my opinion, I do not think it would be profitable to make these available for streaming without the support of DVD.

    ~Ben
     
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  9. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Supporting Actor

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    It's not cost-free to do the work. Man-hours are involved.
     
  10. Message #50 of 94 Mar 14, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
    LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Yes Neil. I was at a screening of the old film KIng Of Jazz at the Museum Of Modern Art in NYC about 2 years ago, An executive named Mike (can't remember his last name ) was in attendance , My wife and I wound up having dinner with him and Bob Furmenek after the screening . Naturally we discussed the Universal library and Mike mentioned that as we spoke Universal was in the process of remastering everything to digital . He mentioned they had made great progress and would eventually complete the task.
     
  11. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    Not to mention that every company has divisions which operate separately. That's why even though all of the big studios do their own in house transfers, yet they can cost several thousand dollars an hour, with one part of the company billing another. Nothing is free.
     
  12. LeoA

    LeoA Cinematographer

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    That last bit is one I never understood. It's in-house, the employees are there, and the equipment is present. Why the exorbitant transfer fees?

    I can understand a priority system so the most lucrative/important projects aren't held up by archive work on something like transferring Hank from 35 mm prints, but I don't see the need for it to be handled the way it is.
     
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  13. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    It's because each division is treated as an independent company. The corporate home sells those services to other people/studios. To keep the books properly they also have to sell to themselves. And they usually give themselves no discount. That's how they track in-house profit vs. outside profit and determine if a series/movie/project is paying its way.
     
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  14. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I still have hope for Beverly Hillbillies being completed but it was pointed out before that Petticoat Junction has huge music clearances for many songs in the remaining seasons so unfortunately I think the book is closed on that show.
     
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  15. Worth

    Worth Cinematographer

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    At this point, streaming is far more likely because the streamer has to pay licencing fees upfront, rather than the distributor spending money to prep a disc release and hoping at sells. At the same time, obscure, mostly forgotten titles are unlikely to arouse much interest from any streaming company.
     
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  16. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I'd think streaming is the place you'd most likely find "obscure" titles, especially if they've been digitized. In that case they're already on a server somewhere so all a studio has to do is say "When you purchase this package of our top titles we'll throw in this group of classic/catalog titles for free." Numbers count. If a service can boast more titles than the competition they'll likely win. I know for sure they'd get more subscribers by offering more "obscure" and/or catalog and/or niche titles. I don't subscribe to any of them because most offer only the "same ole same ole" with not enough old/obscure/niche titles to matter. Right now, Amazon has more titles in that category than I've seen on offer at any of the other services. Enough that I finally am seeing a slight benefit to them including streaming with my Prime membership.
     
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  17. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    My TV on DVD collecting has slowed down considerably in the last few years. Since I collect mainly 70s shows, I knew that when Lou Grant finally made it out that it was probably the last series I was going to get. Sure, there were a few titles that continued to come out since then. Shout Factory did finish Rhoda, Police Woman, One Day At A Time and continued Police Story.

    Like so many others here, I have more than enough to keep me watching DVDs for several years down the road. I'd say that most of my all time favorites are already in my collection (Battlestar Galactica, Soap, Charlie's Angles, Rhoda, The Bob Newhart Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Starsky & Hutch, The Rockford Files, The Brady Bunch, Bewitched, McMillian & Wife, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman) so I'm pretty happy. It has been a fun ride with several surprises along the way. Things like Laugh In, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Planet of the Apes, Saturday Night Live (season 1-5 complete and uncut), and Tarzan. Sure, there have been some disappointments. Room 222 always comes to mind. The Universal fire stalled many things that could have continued or started. For me no more Baretta was a huge let down. And there are a couple of titles still on my grail list (Phyllis and The Hot L Baltimore) that I would love to see get released but have given up on happening.

    I still have hope that Time Life will decide to do a huge box set for The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour/Show and maybe a smaller set for Cher's show. So, I don't think the train has quite reached the station just yet.

    In the meantime, I have used the slow down to go back purchase titles that I just didn't have the time or money for when they were released. Shows like Magnum, PI, Simon & Simon, Mission: Impossible, Seinfeld, The Wonder Years and Mad Men. Plus there are a few others that I'm still considering. Like The Waltons, and Baa Baa Black Sheep. Maybe even Love Boat.

    At the end of the day, if my DVD/Blu-ray players holdout, I should have enough stuff to last me the rest of my life.
     
  18. Message #58 of 94 Mar 15, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Supporting Actor

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    https://iconcollective.com/how-music-royalties-work/

    Partially relevant to this topic... about how music royalties work. The royalties involved, which are related to songs heard within TV shows, are under the category of "Synchronization Royalties (Sync)."

    ~Ben
     
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  19. rmw650

    rmw650 Second Unit

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    As long as I can still get Perfect Strangers and Empty Nest all completed (still hoping for The Muppet Show to be completed as well), then I'll be content with what i have and had purchased.
     
  20. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    Contrary to popular belief, I am alive, although I don't know about the well part! As long as Jed and kin are completed, I'll be a happy camper. If we only get through S7, I won't complain. I have a smattering of unedited episodes from the last 2 seasons that would keep me satisfied.
     

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