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March 09 2008

The WB back online? reports that the WB will be streaming free videos of our shows from the now defunct network and is hoping that Buffy and Angel will be part of the lucky few.

What would motivate 20th to participate? I don't see it happening.
What? Are you sure of this report?
Yeah, it's true (although I've no idea if Buffy will feature). They're using the domain for it. It's 'ad supported', which translates to making money off the advertising.

Additionally, the writers should be receiving actual payment for this with the post-strike, new deal. This represents exactly the kind of reason the writers went on strike.
The Hollywood Reporter, UPI, and MediaWeek have all reported it, which suggests that there must be some reliable sources for it.

I thought it wouldn't be too much longer until various parts of the whole studio production and distribution mishpocha figured out some more ways to work together to use current and older productions online to scare up some additional advertiser cash... it was that or die.

It'll be interesting to see how this works and plays out... Silicon Valley Insider says "Geeks Rejoice" but they may not mean Buffy Geeks. At this point, I'm all about whatever medium gives the most back to creators, including writers...

ETA: and - ha! - there's gossi, in before me with the yeah and the writers...

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2008-03-09 22:22 ]
Of course this will only be for those in the US - so those outside the geographic area will still have to wait or watch by other means. (it's the same in other countries too the BBC iPlayer doesn't like US people unless someone knows any different)

Censorship is a real pain - that's all it comes down to, as many people outside the US would be willing to pay for the service.
It's not censorship, Zol., it comes down to business reasons. When The WB/20th Century Fox/Whoever sold the shows years ago, they sold internet distribution rights. For example, Channel 4 show 'Desperate Housewives' on 4od, which they make money from, but only in the UK. They don't want ABC streaming the episodes free online and cutting their revenue out; and ABC don't want Channel 4 streaming the episodes online and cutting out their revenue.

Money money money!

I actually get a kick out of the fact the BBC won't be iPlayer'ing Doctor Who, 'cos all the US people will be moaning. Like we normally are, but nobody notices.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-03-09 22:20 ]
This 90s nostalgia thing has to stop. Sure it was the best decade of the 20 century but it only ended 8 years ago.
Actually 4OD is available in the Republic of Ireland , unlike the BBC iPlayer , but RTE who show Desperate Housewives , and technically have the rights to DH in the ROI , don't appear to have a problem with 4OD being available .
For folks who have an account and may be interested, has BtVS's first season available for the streaming.
To clarify my original point, I have no doubts that WB is going forward with this and will be streaming the shows that were made by the WB studio. I just don't see how or why there would be 20th Century Studio's product on it. Why would Fox do that when they have their own delivery methods like hulu? It just doesn't make any sense.
In fairness, 20th Century Fox have Hulu but still license their content to Apple for iTunes. If it makes money, they will use it.
I guess it would be a question of incremental revenue if they thought they needed a wider audience and/or a different delivery method. But why take a smaller cut of the margin if you don't have to? I just don't see it.
I don't think I do either, to be honest. I very much doubt will be a success. It's a brand which has already died at the hands of the people still trying to profit off it.
I agree with Simon. Shoot first and ask questions later.
Actually gossi, I think there are a great many people who would rather have the WB back rather than suffer through the CW. If they make shows available, I am sure there are those who will watch and then there are those who have nothing to do with it.
Simon, I'm a full-fledged and proud victim of the 90's nostalgia. I may only be 25, but yet so already full of regret and longing for those (my) teenage years. It's only 8 years ago, but so much of the pop culture of that decade already feels vintage-y in a way. Sigh. Joking. *not so much*

About this streaming thing, I read on that as far as they new, Buffy wasn't on the list of show they'd offer. This as two days ago. I'm not sure it's changed.
It's not censorship, Zol., it comes down to business reasons.

It's also a question of how it's funded. The Beeb's iPlayer is funded from the TV licence which (I think) means it has to be a non-commercial, non-profit making enterprise (i.e. they can't charge for it) because it's a compulsory charge (if you own a TV in the UK you must pay it, rare exceptions aside).

There's also the issue that plagues international streaming at the moment in that usage deals for e.g. background music are negotiated by region so that the BBC's licence to use David Bowie's music (as in 'Life on Mars') may not extend outside the UK (in that specific example I assume a separate deal has been brokered, at least for the US, since it's been shown on BBC America). Streaming it to foreign users would mean negotiating (and paying for) deals for every region.
I have a friend who has to count the minutes of each song used and work out what to pay people! Oh, and count the calenders on walls on the set etc...

What I meant to say was "What Saje says", but I thought I would ramble first.
Simon, yes, but for those of us who were young children in the 90's, it seems like forever. :)
I think Tamara is right - expect to see shows that were actually filmed by Warner first and shows that were filmed by other studios, in this case Fox, later IF this thing succeeds. I've heard the theory that one reason why The WB canceled Buffy and subsequently Angel was that they felt that they were simply drumming up sales for Fox's DVD releases. The same reasoning might apply to streaming.

Yes, studios are letting their content go up on multiple different online services (many are going with "EVERYBODY BUT APPLE" in the hopes of weakening Apple's stranglehold on the download market and thus being able to negotiate less consumer-friendly terms), but there are negotiations to be had when money is involved. Warner's position will definitely be stronger if they launch successfully first and then let other people come to them instead of paying other studios for content.
count the calenders on walls on the set

Buh? Is there a huge calendar royalty consortium out there?

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