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TopBilled

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE on Amazon Prime, so why can't TCM air it?

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Back on the 1st of January, Paramount leased IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) to Amazon Prime for streaming. As of today, the 24th of May, it's still available to consumers. So for over four and a half months, this title has been available (daily) for countless streamings. 

This proves NBC's contract to air it around Christmas is just limited to that specific time of year. And if Paramount is willing to lease it to Amazon as a streaming title, then I am sure they'd lease it to TCM like they do with other classic titles.

So why can't TCM air it as part of a Christmas in July theme. Or as part of a month-long retrospective on Frank Capra in September. Just to be able to say it has aired the film, at least once..?

Thoughts on this, please...

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4 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

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Back on the 1st of January, Paramount leased IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) to Amazon Prime for streaming. As of today, the 24th of May, it's still available to consumers. So for over four and a half months, this title has been available (daily) for countless streamings. 

This proves NBC's contract to air it around Christmas is just limited to that specific time of year. And if Paramount is willing to lease it to Amazon as a streaming title, then I am sure they'd lease it to TCM like they do with other classic titles.

So why can't TCM air it as part of a Christmas in July theme. Or as part of a month-long retrospective on Frank Capra in September. Just to be able to say it has aired the film, at least once..?

Aren't broadcast and streaming rights separate entities? 

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NBC has had it under lock and key for a while. Streaming rights are ... complicated.... it seems. It's like how Amazon is showing The Rat Race from 1960. That's a Paramount title that hasn't aired on TCM in 11 years. most Amazon titles aren't that rare, but last night I finally got around to seeing all of 1987's Happy New Year, which I only saw the tail end of during its one and only TCM showing on the afternoon of February 1, 2012. There are really times when it would be nice for some titles to resurface, not only online, but on TCM.

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27 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Aren't broadcast and streaming rights separate entities? 

Probably...but doesn't this all fall under the auspices of home video. Or as Universal calls it "Pay Television"...?

Since IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE was added to Amazon on the 1st of January, that leads me to believe they couldn't make it available for streaming until after NBC had aired it in December. There's probably some sort of non-compete clause in the contract with NBC. But since NBC does not air it the other 11 months of the year, then Paramount is probably able to market it elsewhere. Just guessing here.

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24 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

NBC has had it under lock and key for a while. Streaming rights are ... complicated.... it seems. It's like how Amazon is showing The Rat Race from 1960. That's a Paramount title that hasn't aired on TCM in 11 years. most Amazon titles aren't that rare, but last night I finally got around to seeing all of 1987's Happy New Year, which I only saw the tail end of during its one and only TCM showing on the afternoon of February 1, 2012. There are really times when it would be nice for some titles to resurface, not only online, but on TCM.

Yeah, I'm going through all the titles that are available for streaming on Amazon Prime and I did see THE RAT RACE. Some of these Paramount classics were added on Amazon Prime back in 2015 and have been continuously available for streaming this whole time. 

There are a whole bunch of Columbia classics that have been added too...I was surprised by how many. Some films from the 30s and 40s I have never seen on TCM. It's a treasure trove, which is the way I like it!

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Just now, TopBilled said:

Yeah, I'm going through all the titles that are available for streaming on Amazon Prime and I did see THE RAT RACE. Some of these Paramount classics were added on Amazon Prime back in 2015 and have been continuously available for streaming this whole time. 

There are a whole bunch of Columbia classics that have been added too...I was surprised by how many. Some films from the 30s and 40s I have never seen on TCM. It's a treasure trove, which is the way I like it!

The Columbia titles were added sometime late last year. I've been attending to many of them and am sincerely hoping more turn up. :) As for Paramount, I saw that All the Way Home was available for a fee ($3.99). That film from 1963 never aired on TCM despite two well known stars (Jean Simmons and Robert Preston) and the fact that it was based on a Pulitzer-winning play.

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8 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

The Columbia titles were added sometime late last year. I've been attending to many of them and am sincerely hoping more turn up. :) As for Paramount, I saw that All the Way Home was available for a fee ($3.99). That film from 1963 never aired on TCM despite two well known stars (Jean Simmons and Robert Preston) and the fact that it was based on a Pulitzer-winning play.

Thanks for mentioning this. It is very much appreciated.

Re: ALL THE WAY HOME...there's a filmed live performance of this play, from the early 1980s, starring Sally Field and William Hurt. It's on Amazon Prime, and I've seen it. Very well done. But I haven't seen the original version with Simmons and Preston.

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I haven't been on Amazon Prime in a while (I had no internet at home for a third of a year, as I detailed in another thread and have yet to visit it since getting it back), but as I last recall, virtually everything one could expect to see routinely on TCM (PD films aside) had late last year pretty much vanished from AP. I assumed that was because AT&T was sealing off everything in what is sometimes called around here "the TCM library" from other outlets as they prepared to launch their own post-Filmstruck streaming service which would rely heavily on that content. Similar to Disney taking all its stuff off Netflix. Is that still the case? Can you watch Casablanca or North by Northwest or Gone With the Wind or Yankee Doodle Dandy or any TCM warhorse on AP anymore?

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4 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I haven't been on Amazon Prime in a while (I had no internet at home for a third of a year, as I detailed in another thread and have yet to visit it since getting it back), but as I last recall, virtually everything one could expect to see routinely on TCM (PD films aside) had late last year pretty much vanished from AP. I assumed that was because AT&T was sealing off everything in what is sometimes called around here "the TCM library" from other outlets as they prepared to launch their own post-Filmstruck streaming service which would rely heavily on that content. Similar to Disney taking all its stuff off Netflix. Is that still the case? Can you watch Casablanca or North by Northwest or Gone With the Wind or Yankee Doodle Dandy or any TCM warhorse on AP anymore?

I didn't see those titles on Amazon Prime when I went through the offerings yesterday. There are a few MGM and Warner Brothers items, but that's because they're in the public domain (like MR. IMPERIUM and GO FOR BROKE!). The ones you mentioned are no longer offered, however that doesn't mean they won't be re-added later.

As I discussed with another poster, there are a lot of Columbia classics on Amazon Prime now. And there are still a fair number of Paramount classics too. 

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Frankly, I think its a waste for TCM to air a film already showing all over the place. That spot should be filled by films that are hard to find, rarely shown.

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16 minutes ago, GGGGerald said:

Frankly, I think its a waste for TCM to air a film already showing all over the place. That spot should be filled by films that are hard to find, rarely shown.

I think TCM's programmers are interested in using films that fit certain themes. Or films that feature popular stars (household names). 

In over 25 years, is it too much to ask that IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE air at least once on TCM?

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1 hour ago, GGGGerald said:

Frankly, I think its a waste for TCM to air a film already showing all over the place. That spot should be filled by films that are hard to find, rarely shown.

I agree, I'm more of an entry by entry person than a theme person.  Rarities are probably rare for a reason, but that doesn't mean they should remain unseen.  Fewer reruns would be nice too (I know, easier said than done).

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The themes seem more formatted than ever. Take SOTM, for example. I feel like in years past, they would just show the star's movies with no particular rhyme or reason on a given night, other than maybe they would more or less be in chronological order. Then, whenever the next designated night was, they'd just pick up where they'd left off.

Now, look at the lineup for Glenn Ford. One week it's all his movies with Rita Hayworth. One week, it's all Westerns. One week, it's all movies where he's a cop. And they do it this way for all the SOTMs now, programming each night strictly by genre or decade or theme. The last time I can remember it being really free form was when they showed nothing but John Wayne movies for an entire week, and they pretty much just went chronologically.

I find the rigidity of this format limiting and problematic. There are probably some really good Glenn Ford movies that don't neatly fit into one of these categories and thus won't air. Also, why not space out the thematically similar movies instead of bunching them altogether? Who's gonna watch four Ford/Hayworth movies back to back? How about one each Monday?

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I can understand why someone would want to lobby for TCM to show a film that has been broadcast on NBC television since 1996.

According to the web: NBC is licensed to show the film on U.S. network television, and traditionally shows it twice during the holidays, with one showing on Christmas Eve. Also according to the web:  Paramount (via parent company Viacom's 1998 acquisition of Republic's then-parent, Spelling Entertainment) once again has distribution rights for the first time since 1955.

But I think if one wants to view this film as it was originally shown (without commercial interruption) then the only way to see it is on NBC and on vhs or dvd. TCM has no rights as it relates to the showing of this film and since Paramount again has distro rights, they can pretty much keep IAWL on NBC for years to come.

Time to move on from this tired request.

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5 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

The themes seem more formatted than ever. Take SOTM, for example.

I noticed that this started around the time Sterling Hayden was Star of the Month. One week they aired his westerns. One week they aired his action films. One week they aired his melodramas. And one week they aired his film noir. Up to that point, a SOTM tribute had not really been arranged by genre.

TCM does seem to use genre as a way to organize its themes. When they do director-related tributes, they often group the titles by genre if the director worked in multiple genres (like Billy Wilder). When they do those university related courses each summer, those tend to be done by genre (this year it's science fiction).

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Buy or rent (including 4K)! Not sure why it needs to play on TCM. I do see the point in asking why not. These movie rights owners are greedy hoarders.

(Glad music on radio doesn't work this way)

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3 hours ago, Michael Rennie said:

(Glad music on radio doesn't work this way)

:lol:

I worked at my college's radio station, which was a commercial station, meaning that the "responsible adults" were people who had worked real radio.  They would tell stories of programming directors getting in snits with rights managers like BMI and responding by pulling all the BMI stuff for a couple of days during the period that determined how much the fees would be (apparently they were based on how much music from each of the main rights groups was played).

Music rights holders have even been known to get pissy about things like songs playing in the background of a political campaign rally when the rally got posted to Youtube.  (Yes, I know that's not radio, but I hope you get the point.)

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Well Fedya, your point is different from my point. I don't think anyone says, "You can't play that," when it comes to radio. My point was meant to be just a little funny.

In my day it was BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. I was never involved with that element of radio. I know fees were paid. I just pushed buttons in automated radio. Decades ago. Records and tape. I was done with radio before CDs.

So if TCM could play anything they want for a fee (monthly) it would be more like radio. That is my point/comparison.

 

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Tell ya what!

Considering that I've watched this movie probably 50 times (the first time being in the late-'60s as a teenager on a local L.A. broadcast, and thus WAY before its "rediscovery" by the masses) and thus know by heart EVERY single line said in it by EVERY single character in it, just give me a call on my cellphone and I'll perform and recreate the whole audio portion of the movie for anybody interested here!

(...one caveat here however...while my Jimmy Stewart, Thomas Mitchell, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers, Ward Bond, Sheldon Leonard AND Frank Faylen impressions are all pretty much spot on, I have to admit I'm still having a little problem with perfecting Donna Reed's and most of the ladies' voices in this thing, although I think I've finally gotten Beulah Bondi's down fairly well)

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21 minutes ago, Michael Rennie said:

Well Fedya, your point is different from my point. I don't think anyone says, "You can't play that," when it comes to radio. My point was meant to be just a little funny.

I was just trying to make the point that even in radio, there have been kerfuffles over rights fees.

And, of course, I can't imagine the various entities that control the rights to large numbers of movies getting together and going to a radio model of licensing.

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

(...one caveat here however...while my Jimmy Stewart, Thomas Mitchell, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers, Ward Bond, Sheldon Leonard AND Frank Faylen impressions are all pretty much spot on, I have to admit I'm still having a little problem with perfecting Donna Reed's and most of the ladies' voices in this thing, although I think I've finally gotten Beulah Bondi's down fairly well)

Snug Underwear!

1 hour ago, Fedya said:

And, of course, I can't imagine the various entities that control the rights to large numbers of movies getting together and going to a radio model of licensing.

I can! How we consumers rent movies/video has new rules. (1) Pay a monthly fee. Watch all you want. Streaming, of course. (2) Pay by the each to watch one movie. Also streaming.

It does amaze me how both pricing models survive.

This film is available to stream in 4K. Look it up on the "Just Watch" site. Rent or buy it in 4K. Buying it doesn't mean you really own it. You have the right to watch it again and again. You may have restrictions on device compatibility.

So Fedya, this liberal guy sees change.

As this might apply to TCM, they could pay a fee to show/broadcast one movie, one time.

I am still using my tablet for this and it takes forever.

Time for a nap.

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23 hours ago, Fedya said:

:lol:

I worked at my college's radio station, which was a commercial station, meaning that the "responsible adults" were people who had worked real radio.  They would tell stories of programming directors getting in snits with rights managers like BMI and responding by pulling all the BMI stuff for a couple of days during the period that determined how much the fees would be (apparently they were based on how much music from each of the main rights groups was played).

Music rights holders have even been known to get pissy about things like songs playing in the background of a political campaign rally when the rally got posted to Youtube.  (Yes, I know that's not radio, but I hope you get the point.)

Yup.  They are still out there.  A standard line item fee to the client usually applies per event at the various locations I have worked where published music will be played to a gathering of people.  In this case it is basically up to the establishment, whether it be a small restaurant playing background music, or a large union hall hosting live performances.  The larger venues usually mind their business enough to pay up.  It is the smaller guys.  Occasionally an auditor will show up at these places that have live or recorded music.  Someone who may or may not be familiar with music.  The ones found out typically show up unannounced and are seen with a small notepad writing down the lyrics to songs being played/performed.  Then they take that back and figure out what was played, and if that venue is in fact paying the respective licensing groups.  The restaurant background music services tend to include licensing as part of the built in price of the music they provide, so it is live performances or DJs that they usually get dinged for.

In the live event world it is similar enough to licensing issues encountered with "public display" of movies, versus "private viewing" at home.  I would expect radio stations/conglomerates to also be fully on board.

Sports bars have an interesting requirement.  They can show anything on normal cable/satellite channels, as long as it isn't pay-per-view, and as long as it is being shown live.  You won't see any DVRs in a sports bar, just receivers.

The political campaign rally example is just political agitation/noise regardless of the venue, which is most certainly going to be paid up ahead of time on licensing, especially if it regularly hosts public events where being paid up is part of their business model.

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4 hours ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

Yup.  They are still out there.  A standard line item fee to the client usually applies per event at the various locations I have worked where published music will be played to a gathering of people.  In this case it is basically up to the establishment, whether it be a small restaurant playing background music, or a large union hall hosting live performances.  The larger venues usually mind their business enough to pay up.  It is the smaller guys.  Occasionally an auditor will show up at these places that have live or recorded music.  Someone who may or may not be familiar with music.  The ones found out typically show up unannounced and are seen with a small notepad writing down the lyrics to songs being played/performed.  Then they take that back and figure out what was played, and if that venue is in fact paying the respective licensing groups.  The restaurant background music services tend to include licensing as part of the built in price of the music they provide, so it is live performances or DJs that they usually get dinged for.

In the live event world it is similar enough to licensing issues encountered with "public display" of movies, versus "private viewing" at home.  I would expect radio stations/conglomerates to also be fully on board.

Sports bars have an interesting requirement.  They can show anything on normal cable/satellite channels, as long as it isn't pay-per-view, and as long as it is being shown live.  You won't see any DVRs in a sports bar, just receivers.

The political campaign rally example is just political agitation/noise regardless of the venue, which is most certainly going to be paid up ahead of time on licensing, especially if it regularly hosts public events where being paid up is part of their business model.

Gee, kind'a makes ya wonder if Capra bothered to the rights to "Buffalo Gals" before he used it in his movie here, doesn't it?!  

(...♪♪ AAAND dance by the light of the moon ♪♪ ...told ya I've seen this flick 50 times, didn't I?!) ;)

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4 hours ago, Dargo said:

Gee, kind'a makes ya wonder if Capra bothered to the rights to "Buffalo Gals" before he used it in his movie here, doesn't it?!  

(...♪♪ AAAND dance by the light of the moon ♪♪ ...told ya I've seen this flick 50 times, didn't I?!) ;)

Lemme look around here.  I might have had something on that.  :P

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10 hours ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

The political campaign rally example is just political agitation/noise regardless of the venue, which is most certainly going to be paid up ahead of time on licensing, especially if it regularly hosts public events where being paid up is part of their business model.

Yeah, I've always thought the bit about the political rallies had less to do with licensing and more to do with the recording artists, who tend to be liberal, being unhappy with conservative political candidates using those artists' songs to rouse their fan base. This goes back at least to 1984, when Bruce Springsteen asked the Ronald Reagan campaign to stop playing "Born in the USA" at Reagan rallies. I don't think Springsteen had any legal right to prevent its use. It was merely a request, and for the most part, these requests seem to be honored once they've been made. The Trump campaign found itself in 2016 having to use a new a song at practically every event, as virtually every song they played would lead to a "cease and desist" request from the author(s).

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