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February 11 2005

TV Guide's "The Biz" on the new life some shows are getting on DVD. And don't forget the additional revenue.

Buffy and Wonderfalls are mentioned about halfway down.

It's weird that Ancier is doing the interview considering Angel and Buffy are in the top ten among TV on DVD sales. It seems as if he still doesn't know what the heck is going on. Millions of Angel viewers = hundreds of thousands of boxsets sold. Idiot...
Seeing as The WB don't actually make any money from the Buffy and Angel DVD sales, why should he take any interest in them?
You're right, Simon. So wouldn't it be reasonable for FOX to be MORE interested in the -verse and similar fare? Apparently they aren't immune from the idiot virus, either.

I really loved this part:

Which shows don't work on DVD? "Reality doesn't do well at all," Hettrick says. "Anything where there is a contest or a conclusion. Once you know the winner, it isn't that much fun to watch it again. Survivor hasn't done well. Neither has The Apprentice."


Ha! And I say "Ha!" again!
Ancier: "When you're spending an average of $1.6 million an hour to make shows, you can't let the DVD tail wag the dog."

cjl: Garth, that's last century thinking. With the release of Seasons 4-6, the collected Seinfeld DVDs will probably have earned the equivalent of the ENTIRE COST OF THE SERIES. You're going to have to redefine what's the tail and what's the dog.
So true cji.
It would be nice to see a little forward thinking from these types, however, I doubt they have the capacity.
I agree with cjl too. Is it possible for any of these idiots, running the networks, to think outside the proverbial box??? If I have to see yet another asinine reality show advertised I think I am going to live with the amish!!!!!!!!!!---and reality on dvd....sheesh!!!!!...yep...that's called home movies...I got plenty of those!!! Yeah...these guys deserve their millions...they're BRILLIANT!!! ...and not in a Guinness sort of way!!!

[ edited by Coll on 2005-02-11 17:57 ]
CJL, sweetie, the tail doesn't wag the dog because they're not attached to the same dog.

As Simon pointed out earlier, the WB doesn't make any money off of those fabulous dvd sales. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch! The show is owned by Twentieth Century Fox's television production division (a separate entity from Fox Broadcasting network). Every dvd set, every action figure, every little thing you buy for the BtVS/AtS shows has either been produced by 20th Century Fox TV or licensed by them to outside companies. They made all the filthy lucre. The WB makes their filthy lucre from advertising sales.

The only instance where the WB would make any money off dvd sales is if they owned part of a show. They don't own any part of BtVS nor AtS and never did. They've tried to produce their own shows to save money but haven't gotten very far with that. Weren't "Lost in Space" and that other vampire show Dark Shadows, WB in-house productions? And where are they now? Nowhere. Why? Because the networks are no more capable of making its own hit shows than they are at finding and building them.

[ edited by punkinpuss on 2005-02-12 06:27 ]
True, my dear, too true. But just because the WB can't create a decent series to save their lives (and can't get their paws on BUFFY profits), doesn't mean Ancier is right when he talks about DVD sales as mere ancillary income. Garth doesn't think genre TV is worth the investment because DVD sales don't have a big impact on the bottom line? Wait until those first season DVDs of LOST (fantasy/adventure genre) and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (soap/romance genre) come out. If they're anywhere near Seinfeld-ian levels of popularity, ABC will probably be able to fund the next season of both series from the DVD income alone. It's the new math, Garth. Learn it.
Well, the WB shortsightedness has cost them quite a bit this year (low ratings = low income, in my perception of this situation), but they are too proud to admit they made any mistakes. So, lesson not learned.

And the FOX network/TV production is one of the more classic examples of the left hand not knowing (caring?!) what the right hand is doing. It seems they'd be rollin' in it if they'd just wake up and smell the coffee.

I wrote "The Biz" and mentioned that it would have been nice to get a mention of Firefly's DVD sales greenlighting a movie.
Seeing as The WB don't actually make any money from the Buffy and Angel DVD sales, why should he take any interest in them?

Because it makes it possible for the WB (or any network) to negotiate a lower share of the production costs for a series, as the production company will later make additional income on the DVDs and the network will not. I distincly remember a previous interview with Ancier where he made that very point.

Obviously this would work particularly well if you have an already successful series.
Speaking of an already successful series...
'Murder She Wrote' on DVD....?

I'll start saving now.
Because it makes it possible for the WB (or any network) to negotiate a lower share of the production costs for a series, as the production company will later make additional income on the DVDs and the network will not.


True, but if you're Twentieth Century Fox, you don't want to take on more of the production cost unless it's an absolutely dire "cut or be cancelled" sitch. Production companies typically assume all the overages on a show's budget and almost always operate on the basis of making the profit on the backend via syndication sales. It's rare for the production company to make any profit until the show gets sold for syndication rights.

So, if you're already operating in the red for 4+ seasons, you don't negotiate as if you will definitely get another revenue stream from dvd sales. That's bad negotiating. Also it doesn't account for the big jump in actors' salaries by season 5 (if not earlier) of a hit show -- you've got to renegotiate all your talent contracts and pay those pretty faces a lot more money. They probably have to pay their union crew higher wages as well. It only helps Mr. Ancier or any network fatcat to negotiate from this position.

Garth will probably only be interested in dvd sales when they become Anciery revenue.
What I find mind-boggling is how much cable companies will charge for their shows. 12 episodes of Carnivale? $80. 13 episodes of Six Feet Under? $95. They already have paid subscribers. Whereas the networks run a bit cheaper ... 22 episodes of Buffy are about $40. La Femme Nikita is about twice that for a season.

In all of this, part of me keeps wondering if the 6th season of Angel on DVD was ever a remote possibility. Anyone have total units moved of older seasons, like 2 and 3?

Also, part of me would love to know the breakdown on the cost of a Buffy episode.
Ocular - Another example of a cable show: Farscape. I really want to see this show but the sets are so expensive. I've seen the seasons for $80 at the cheapest, but most of the time the price is $114 for a season, and I see them in stores for $150.

I typically have been paying $37.99-$39.99/season for Buffy and Angel and I get them the day they are released (or within two days of release). So why is Farscape so much more money?
Passion, I got my Farscape DVD sets from Ebay for about 65-70 bucks a season. It's usually cheaper if you can find someone selling more than one season at a time. I had to watch a bunch of auctions and had to be patient. Also, a lot of people have recommended Netflix as an alternative to buying and seem pleased with the service.

Why they are so expensive, I don't know.
Netflix kicks ass. Especially because there is NO WAY I'm paying that much for the DVD's of a series I haven't actually seen. I missed Six Feet Under entirely, but now I want to watch it. And I will NOT be buying it. (Even though I find the money for a full Joss Collection)

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