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New Trend in How TV Shows are Released?

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New Trend in How TV Shows are Released?

Old 08-06-06, 08:15 AM
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New Trend in How TV Shows are Released?

New Trend in How TV Shows are Released?

I have a feeling that there is going to be a new trend in how TV Shows are released on DVDs coming. Sooner or later.

As you may, or may not, know, certain studios are hinting at, or even out and out stating, that due to poor sales of a particular season or volume, that there may not be additional releases. (Gargoyles, and Huckleberry Hound are two examples,and there are probably others). This has resulted it two responses from the public. "The studios are fear mongering to drive up sales, don't worry about it." And, "well if that's the way they are (serious) going to be then I will not buy any more shows until they release all the seasons." (as they don't want to get stuck with an incomplete show(s))

So now we have to think. Are the studios "fear mongering" or "serious" about this.

If it is fear mongering then I agree with the "don't worry about it" response.

But what if they (the studios) are serious. What if they don't release the last volume or last 2 seasons, whatever, of certain shows, due to poor (in their opinion) sales. What would be the result.

Let's say (many) people do retaliate by refusing to buy season sets until they are all released. Result = poorer sales. Poorer sales = Studios stop releasing many shows. Now this may not happen overnight as, depending on the show, the backlash may be only from a small group. But if it starts spreading to larger groups……….

So what would happen then.

What I think is that, once the dust settles, the studios will start releasing, based on what they think will sell, complete TV shows. That is, not season 1 then 2, but all or nothing. Obviuously this would lower the number of shows released. And would also result in lower sales as not everyone that is currently buying individual seasons (spreading the cost out over a period of time) can afford to buy complete shows all at once. And lower sales results in the studios being even more particular in what shows do get released.

So, do you think this new trend is coming soon? Is it inevitable if the studios have seriously thrown down the gauntlet? Opinions?

James
Old 08-06-06, 08:51 AM
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They blew it on the Huckleberry Hound release-putting the same cartoons in a boxset more than once is beyond dumb.
Old 08-06-06, 09:14 AM
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The bottom line is that studios just want to turn a quick buck on TV show releases. For the most part, they don't do too much critical thinking... they'll take a chance releasing season 1, then gauge sales. If those sales figures are acceptable, they'll release season 2. If not... end of the line.

They have pigeonholed their thinking to releasing shows season by season or by entire series. There are other ways to "test the waters", but the studios are either too limited in their thinking or not willing to take a calculated risk.
Old 08-06-06, 09:26 AM
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I don't think much will change. Studios market as many shows as they feel are wanted by consumers. Not all of the shows will sell well enough to meet their expectations and return a profit. Those are the shows that will not be continued. Why would anyone expect them to spend more money for more seasons when the first season didn't return a profit or at least not enough of a profit to risk future editions?

Personally, If I had a choice between owning one season of a show that I liked, even if I couldn't get the remaining seasons, I would buy it.
Old 08-06-06, 09:39 AM
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I don't see how they could lose money on tv shows since they have already been produced and with the exception of older cartoons that might need restoration they are in a win-win situation.
Old 08-06-06, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dvd-4-life
I don't see how they could lose money on tv shows since they have already been produced and with the exception of older cartoons that might need restoration they are in a win-win situation.
Because it costs money to produce, print, distribute, and advertise DVD releases. They also may need to pay out royalties to the actors, producers, writers, and music of the original episodes. The fact that they've already been filmed is pretty meaningless.
Old 08-06-06, 09:48 AM
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Sony/Columbia have been releasing 70's situation comedy tv shows at a very reasonable price(20 dollars-ish)so It can't cost them that much money if they are going to turn a profit.
Old 08-06-06, 10:21 AM
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I don't really think that a studio would release a package for all seasons of a show (with no individual season available) and expect to generate sales for what would have to be a hefty purchase price. The "all or nothing" approach would be a very bad business choice.
Old 08-06-06, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JamesDFarrow
What if they don't release the last volume or last 2 seasons, whatever, of certain shows, due to poor (in their opinion) sales. What would be the result.
There is no "opinion" when it comes to sales figures and profitability. If (total # of units sold) is less than (the amount it cost to produce and market the units) then (the studio has lost money). Companies aren't in the business of losing money... otherwise, they'd be out of business VERY quickly.
Old 08-06-06, 11:27 AM
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[QUOTE]Sony/Columbia have been releasing 70's situation comedy tv shows at a very reasonable price(20 dollars-ish)so It can't cost them that much money if they are going to turn a profit.[QUOTE]

Yes, but ses shows Sony doesn't have to pay any royalties, there are no music right issues (which can usually account for 30% of a DVD budget), and very little advertising....shows like Huckleberry Hound, Warner has to pay ALOT just for the royalties on the character
Old 08-06-06, 12:40 PM
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Another thing the studios seem to be doing is releasing the shows with new packaging or some kind of collector's edition once the series is out. That makes it a double-edged sword for consumers. Do I buy it right away to support the show or wait until everything's released in fear of a repackage? (*cough* SG1)
Old 08-06-06, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Nth Power
Another thing the studios seem to be doing is releasing the shows with new packaging or some kind of collector's edition once the series is out. That makes it a double-edged sword for consumers. Do I buy it right away to support the show or wait until everything's released in fear of a repackage? (*cough* SG1)
Yeah, this double-dip craze for tv shows is really annoying (though completely predictable). Individual movies I can stomach, but when you shell out hundreds of dollars for a complete show the double dip (improved over the original) feels like a slap in the face. I think the safe strategy is waiting on shows that you know are very popular (and you can handle the wait), but buy for more obscure (or less popular) stuff. For example, all those Star Trek series -- you just KNOW they're coming back, in better packaging and probably more extras.
Old 08-06-06, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by critterdvd
Yes, but ses shows Sony doesn't have to pay any royalties, there are no music right issues (which can usually account for 30% of a DVD budget), and very little advertising....shows like Huckleberry Hound, Warner has to pay ALOT just for the royalties on the character
Unless they are utter idiots, which is far too common in the business, they are paying royalties per unit and not a flat fee. Thus high royalties aren't directly responsible for losses - they might eat into the amount available for amortization of DVD production/advertising costs, but that's mostly a pricing issue.

As for the original premise - I could see a middle-ground - the release of an entire run, but broken up into affordable installments - be they seasons or story-arcs or whatever. That reduces the risk to the consumer with only a marginal increase in risk to the studio (mostly just the one-time cost to convert the shows to DVD format).
Old 08-06-06, 08:36 PM
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Warner owns the Huckleberry Hound character (through the Time Warner-Turner merger, in which they recieved ownership of ALL the H-B characters, including Huck, Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, etc.) and the actual Huck Show, so to suggest that Warner would have to pay character royalties to release a show featuring a character owned by them is at the height of ignorance.

Now, Warner did put some money to remastering the Huck shows, which could've affected how they looked at sales.

However, is it possible that some of the abondoned shows might've turned a profit, but not Friends/Sienfeld/Simpsons/Lost/Desperate Housewives-sized profits?

Last edited by Super Leviathan; 08-06-06 at 08:39 PM.
Old 08-06-06, 09:01 PM
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Warner Brothers must have alot of money because they were remastering the Popeye cartoons even before they owned them but on a recent chat at HTF they said they didn't have the money to remaster the Tex Avery MGM cartoons.
Old 08-06-06, 09:06 PM
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TV on DVD is so frustrating these days. By and large, the battle on single-disc vs. season sets has been won, but now we have:

-Season sets vs. complete series. Totally screws over the people who've supported the show's DVD run, both with new packaging/extras, and the MSRP of the complete set is generally quite a bit less than MSRP of the seasons combined. Even if you bought the seasons on sale, it probably still cost you more than the complete set would have.

-Soft sales on season 1 and/or 2 killing a whole series' chances. With popular shows running an average of 5-10 seasons, how many shows have their strongest episodes in the first season or two? Hardly any, as actors are still working out their characters and writers are finding what works best for story arcs. So not only are fans of the show denied having it all available to them, some of the best episodes a series may have produced will never see the light of day because people didn't pick up the weaker episodes that did get released.

-Frustrating release schedules. Some shows are taking FOREVER!! I can understand when the series is still on the air, you include many good extras and commentaries for all or virtually all episodes (Matt Groening & Seth McFarlane shows are excused), but when the box says "loaded with extra features" and all you get are 27 stupid clip compilations set to music ("Will & Grace"), why does it take so damn long to get it out?!?!

If I like a series enough to buy one season on DVD, I will generally buy them all, so I'd prefer to get a complete series set, but I don't think that will be the only way shows will get released. Too much money to be made by milking consumers over and over.
Old 08-07-06, 05:11 PM
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Many shows seem to have royalty issues, mostly music related, that are making them cost prohibitive to produce (Cold Case and Crossing Jordan come to mind).

Not to mention shows like Happy Days, where the studio paid high royalties (for music) to release season 1, and sales were to poor/low. There are currently no plans for further seasons.
Old 08-07-06, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by dvd-4-life
They blew it on the Huckleberry Hound release-putting the same cartoons in a boxset more than once is beyond dumb.
I agree. It was assinine.

If they want the sales so badly, then let them put out a good.... no wait.... an EXCELLENT product and they'll have their wish granted in spades. Why is this so hard to understand.

Do it right the FIRST TIME, and you'll most likely have a customer for life.
Old 08-07-06, 06:52 PM
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Let's not get too much into technicalities about royalties for music etc, the main point of this thread seems to be about those shows that don't sell the first time around. The main two ideas being tossed around are, if it doesnt sell well the companies 'scare' us into thinking they wont release more... OR, if they are just 'serious' about not releasing more... I think it would be nieve not to think both reasons are involved. They'll say they're not releasing more because yes, it's all about money... *GASP*... not what you the consumers want. Wow, there's a brainbuster of a concept. But if it scares us into buying things, then hey, then it's another business tactic that's worked... which again is done for money. It's a two way street and both reasons I'm sure are valid in and of themselves at the same time.
Old 08-07-06, 07:50 PM
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What exactly went wrong with the Huckleberry Hound set? This is the first I've heard about it.

And the Happy Days set blew because it probably wasn't advertised properly. I remember I had a "WTF" moment when I saw it in stores. Also, it seemed like it was in the Public Domain the way it was packaged with no extras, etc.
Old 08-07-06, 08:29 PM
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With Huckleberry Hound they had the shows in the order that they were originally shown and once in awhile there would be a repeat viewing of a cartoon.
Old 08-07-06, 11:38 PM
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I've always found the concept of TV on DVD to be a little odd. To me, the only stuff that should see the light of day on disc or either mega-hits, The Simpsons and Seinfeld, or Cult "classics" like Twin Peaks. Buying every season of Sanford & Son or Full House has never made any sense to me...is there really replay value in a show, that overtime just gets cheesier or severly dates itself?
Old 08-07-06, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank
I've always found the concept of TV on DVD to be a little odd. To me, the only stuff that should see the light of day on disc or either mega-hits, The Simpsons and Seinfeld, or Cult "classics" like Twin Peaks. Buying every season of Sanford & Son or Full House has never made any sense to me...is there really replay value in a show, that overtime just gets cheesier or severly dates itself?
I used to think the same way until one day I realized that many tv shows on dvds became more enjoyable to watch repeatedly while some of my dvd movies would collect dust from getting viewed only once a year or so. It is hard to say which shows should be released on dvd and which ones shouldnt. Many people on here are clamoring for those Beverly Hills and Melrose Place sets while I wont go anywhere near them. However, I do respect those who want them and I am glad that they are releasing them to the public.

Last edited by dsa_shea; 08-07-06 at 11:44 PM.
Old 08-08-06, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank
I've always found the concept of TV on DVD to be a little odd. To me, the only stuff that should see the light of day on disc or either mega-hits, The Simpsons and Seinfeld, or Cult "classics" like Twin Peaks. Buying every season of Sanford & Son or Full House has never made any sense to me...is there really replay value in a show, that overtime just gets cheesier or severly dates itself?

This newsflash just in - some people actually enjoy different things than you do.
Old 08-08-06, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MovieExchange
This newsflash just in - some people actually enjoy different things than you do.
^^ --- Full House fan!

Another newsflash just in - this tv on dvd problem has been around since tv on dvd began. The only new issue is Full Series sets vs. individual seasons.

If a show doesn't sell, future seasons won't continue. See Mad About You & Larry Sanders. circa 2003. Hardly a new trend.

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