Showtime won’t be mailing out the usual stack of DVD screeners of its programs to Emmy voters this year. Instead, the pay cable network is partnering with Brightcove to stream 82 full-length episodes of shows like Weeds and Dexter to members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Last year Showtime mailed out 20 DVD screeners to each Academy member. This year it will mail out just three DVDs, each consisting of select episodes and a brochure that contains a unique passcode; each recipient uses the password to log on and watch the rest of the season online.
Showtime claims this is to green up its screener process. While true that three DVDs create less landfill than 20, what makes more economic sense is to dump DVDs altogether. Without them, there’s no elaborate packaging to create, and it’s less expensive to mail. And it’s a more secure process for Showtime, as it would eliminate the risk of any advance copy DVDs making it into the wild.
Look for other networks to follow suit…unless Showtime doesn’t pick up any Emmy nominations. Then, planet be damned, Emmy voters will get The L-Word served up on a shiny disc.