TV’s On-Demand World: The Profit Squabbles


I don’t know about you, but I find all these windowing squabbles fascinating…A good and detailed story in LAT about the issues arising out of TV networks’ decision to put their shows for sale on VOD…we have covered these issues in details in the past, but this has some specific recent examples:

— CBS and Walt Disney’s Touchstone Television have been squabbling over CBS’ recent deal to put “The Amazing Race” in Comcast VOD. Touchstone, who co-owns the show, wasn’t consulted prior to this deal.

— CBS’ position is that because the VOD release piggybacks on the marketing push it put behind its shows, the network should reap the rewards.

— It’s going to take them several months to hammer out an industry standard for VOD compensation. By mid-May, when the networks begin picking up a new season of pilots, the contracts to license the shows are likely to include such provisions.

— For now, TV studios are treating these VOD downloads as “home entertainment,” which allows the companies to pay much smaller residuals. The Screen Actors Guild and the WGA contend that Internet downloads are more like pay TV, whose profits studios share more generously.

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