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May 30 2003

Spec about the delay of the AtS season 2 (region 1) DVD at The Spoiler Slayer. North Americans may have to wait a lot longer for it than they thought.

i'm completely at a loss when it comes to the whys and wherefores of the dvd releases. why does region 2 get them so much faster, why do we have to wait so long in region 1. what would releasing season 2 have to do with angel going into a 5th syndicatable (holy crap is that a word) season...? owning the season 2 dvd isn't going to stop fans from watching season 5 on tv. somebody help me...!
Here's the deal. The companies that produce television shows (in this case it's Fox), on the original airing of a show, get money from the network that airs the show. This money tends to go to all the people involved in making this show happen. However, these production companies also have the rights to the re-broadcast and distribution of the shows (VHS, DVD) after (a)their time on television is up or (b) it's an incredibly popular show (ex. Friends, Buffy, Frasier). In the US the shows are sold off to the highest bidder(s) and those networks that paid the agreed upon price get to air whatever episodes are being sold. This is called syndication. In general, shows are not sold into syndication until the 100th episode (I don't know where this came from). Production companies are generally very happy when a show hits 100 episodes because (a) syndication is a gold mine and (b) after the 5th season (when a show generally hits that 100th episode) the production companies can ask for a lot more money for new episodes because the show has proven itself and because syndication of the show (which is likely to happen) will drive up interest for the new eps. This is what happened with Buffy and the WB after the 5th season of BtVS. Fox wanted more money for the show than the WB was willing to pay.

Now, Angel is an interesting case because Fox probably didn't think it was going to be picked up for a 5th season (and therefore not hitting that magic 100th episode mark), so they first sold syndication rights to TNT (for VERY cheap, btw) AND they started releasing DVDs in region 1 (something you almost never do until you've made quite a bit on syndication since DVD ownership tends to halt syndication viewership). Now that Angel will be hitting the 100 episode mark Fox is probably thinking that they can get a higher price for Angel in syndication after this season...but this price would be hurt if DVDs for the episodes they were trying to syndicate were readily available.

Does that make sense?
http://www2.foxhome.com/tvdvd/fox_tvdvd.html has a link to "view all titles" and if you scroll down to upcoming releases, Angel Season 2 has "(9/2)" for the date. But it links to Season 1. I just found this last weekend and now this news of the delay is even worse than having to wait until September. I searched my VHS tapes and only found one or two episodes from Season 2.

I agree that having the dvds does not deter me from tuning into Buffy on the weekends or on F/X even though some of these episodes exist on DVD. It's just part of our daily lives.
yes that makes sense, thanks :-) i already understood how syndication works but just wasn't making the leap to how it ties to dvd releases. but what about region 2 getting the dvds so much faster than we do in canada and the usa...? is there no syndication overseas...?

owning the dvds absolutely does not stop me from watching reruns, in fact i tend to watch the reruns more often and more regularly. the dvds are like insurance, in case my local buffy station loses it's mind and ceases airing the reruns.
Grrr... When I saw the status of the set (waiting patiently on my Amazon wishlist until I magically acquire some cash) change from "preorder now" to "currently unavailable," I was hoping that it was just a mistake, or at least just a minor holdup. I was going to wait until I didn't see a little insert advertising season two in my Buffy season four set to get worried. Oh, well.

Didn't TNT purchase the syndication rights after the first season set went out, though? I would have figured that if they were willing to buy them knowing that a DVD release had already happened and others had been at least theoretically cleared for release, the rest of the seasons would follow suit in a decent amount of time. But I was assuming that once the rights were sold, they were sold for all of the episodes of the series, both the ones already produced and whatever future ones were made. That would certainly make them want to release the other seasons on DVD, to milk the audience's interest while the show is still on the air and fresh in peoples' memories. But, I guess if, as ringworm said, it's not a final deal, we're the ones that lose out.
No, there isn't any syndication overseas. Once you sell the rights to, say, BBC, they can show every episode as much as they want (often useful as I understand they repeat old eps quite frequently during the long gaps they have between seasons). Therefore DVD sets for almost every American television series are released in the UK and Australia first. In some cases, where the show can only be watched (correctly) on cable/satellite overseas, the DVDs become the main method of watching the show for those bigtime fans. This is also why UK & Australia have all those VHS sets, whereas the US only had a few VHS box sets.
thanks skyMatrix

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