[opendtv] Re: Is 'Fair Use' in Peril?

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2004 09:30:14 -0500

At 11:53 AM -0500 12/2/04, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
>Even if what you claim above ever comes to pass, you
>would still need to show that the direct sales
>revenues would be far, far greater than the revenues
>after the direct sales period. These are very simply
>different business models, which can perfectly well
>coexist. No one is forced to watch ads. Just buy the
>DVD boxed sets of TV shows, if you prefer.


Have you ever looked at the revenue windows for theatrical releases?

In "some" cases the theatrical release window is large; in many cases 
it is relatively small. What is important here is that it is FIRST, 
and it garners the highest premium, although the revenues are split 
between the content and theater owners. In many cases movies are only 
in the theaters for a week or two - the real economic window for 
these movies is the next step in the distribution process...packaged 
media release.

It is not uncommon today for a theatrical feature to make MORE money 
in the packaged media release window than in the theaters. This is 
true for the blockbusters, and is especially true for the movies that 
do not stay in theaters for long. It is a fact that Hollywood makes 
more money on packaged media sales than theater box office receipts.

Next on the list is the PAID viewing window. This includes 
hospitality release (hotels, ships,  airlines, etc.), movie package 
service (HBO, Starz, Showtime, etc), NVOD, and VOD. This is much 
smaller than the revenues from packaged media sales.

Next comes advertiser supported TV release. Except for the 
blockbusters, this is just end of life pricing, after the real 
revenues have been collected.

Bottom line, it is EASY to demonstrate that direct sales revenues are 
already far, far greater than the revenues after the direct sales 
period for theatrical and certain kinds of TV releases (e.g the 
episodic programs created for paid services like HBO and Showtime. 
Currently, the first run on the networks is comparable to theatrical 
release; most of the money is collected AFTER the program goes into 

>If someone were out to replace the radio and TV
>broadcast industry with a new form of high cost
>by-subscription-only news and entertainment service,
>then I might buy into the argument that ad zapping
>is nothing to worry about. It's patently obvious that
>if you take away the revenue source from any given
>industry, that industry won't survive. Duh!


I think this has already happened Bert. There are MANY ways to buy 
content directly today. 85% of the country pays for a multichannel 
advertiser supported TV service, and about 30 % pay for premium 
channels. Virtually ALL of us buy packaged media.

Now people are paying about $10/month for satellite radio. The 
PRIMARY motivation to date has been to avoid ads.

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