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January 2002, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 7 Jan 2002 23:52:43 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Darryl Wiggers <[log in to unmask]>
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TV Guide listings would be an obvious start, but what time period is this
attempting to cover? If it's current, you'll see an obvious pattern with
most major networks.

As in the days when studios once ran major theatrical theatres, now many of
the major studios have ownership of major networks. Sometimes part
ownership. Sometimes total. As such, these channels tend to provide a
heavier (if not total) rotation of films from their major owner, especially
in their series programming. For example UPN (United Paramount Network) is
obviously owned by Paramount. ABC is tied with Disney. TBS is with Time
Warner and so forth. Even in Canada this rule applies with channels such as
Showcase (owned by Alliance Atlantis) broadcasting a large percentage of
Alliance films. In the early years it was usually films other broadcasters
were not interested in buying because Showcase often didn't have the budget
to buy bigger titles. In a sense it became a dumping ground for its orphan
films. But that is slowly changing. Bigger titles are being bought and
Showcase is now publicly branding itself as "An Alliance Atlantis Network"
(a few years ago there was even an attempt to change the Showcase name to
"Alliance Atlantis Television").

A study of television broadcasting today is really a study of growing
corporate control of on-air programming.

But these stations, and their related corporations, are not keen to share
what they have in their inventory. But I guarantee, if you track the
ownership of any channel, and then take a one year sampling (even one week
is some cases) from any TV guide, you will see a pattern. (NOTE: The studios
that release a movie in theatres or video are not always the distributors
for television, which makes this research more difficult because tv rights
ownership is even more difficult to track by the general public)

In any case, in this environment, films are not movies. They're product.

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