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ziggyelman

Do you think we will eventually see a spinoff(s) of TCM in the future????

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I see the posts like everyone else does, where someone is complaining about the lack of MGM, Warner films, while someone else chimes in with how they are enjoying seeing those very seldom seen Columbia films.

I really fit both camps. I want to see more of the rare Warner and RKO films gathering dust in the vaults, but I have really enjoyed seeing all those Jean Arthur films, and those very rare B movies from Columbia that never, ever were shown! (A quick aside, I loved seeing Reveille with Beverly with a very young Ann Miller, along with Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Mills Bros, Bob Crosby, as well)

Well, both groupings of films(And the Hal Roach/United Artist films as well) take away time the other studio films can be shown. You have your Dish network screw up a film,(Like happened with me with the Jean Arthur film, My Kingdom for a Cook ) and it may be many years before you get a chance to see it again.

So, do you all think there could be a market for a TCM/Columbia, and a TCM "classic" with all the Warner/MGM/RKO films? I know I'd pay a little extra to get another true classic movie channel.

The Fox Movie channel isn't really living up to it's potential(what old movies they show, they run to death for much of the year) AMC used to run Paramount/Universal films and some RKO as well, and they seemed to be well for several years.

Just a thought....

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I would definitely like to see a "TCM classic" with emphasis on MGM/RKO/WB movies that are under Time-Warner control, and another channel showing mostly the old Columbia, Universal, Paramount and independent titles.

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If they're both available to the average viewer without additional cost I don't know that I'd mind a split. It would seem to mean though that the inventory of available films for either channel would be reduced significantly meaning more frequent repeats of any given film and then the unavoidable running time conflicts between the two. I could see a situation where one actually gets to see fewer "classic" films unless one was willing to sacrifice x number of minutes at the beginning of a particular movie. Not everyone has the availability of a DVR or TiVO. In a nutshell, I'm happy with the way things are except for when certain genres are featured to the exclusion of others, musicals in my case. Am I making sense?

 

Thanks, Hollis

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I'm not sure it would mean a significant reduction of the number of movies available. The WHV library has something like 6,000+ titles. If they could somehow show 16 movies each day, they could run movies for a whole year and never repeat a single title.

 

And as ziggy pointed out... an occasional repeat isn't a bad idea; if there's any trouble with the cable or satellite when they're showing a movie you want to see... it may be years before you get another chance to watch it. :(

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No, I don't hope to see a spinoff. I'm afraid that would lead to commercials. By keeping it the way it is we all get to see what we like eventually. No matter how big the station is, if it meant rentals for another one or two channels, they would be forced to charge either the viewer, or go to commercials. I prefer to leave well enough alone. But I do wish they would go back in time to the old daily divisions like musical Sunday, crime Wednesday, Western Saturday, etc.

 

Anne

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Given the high costs of start-up on a new channel, I don't know that it would be economically possible right now for Time Warner to have two separate classic film channels.

 

While the Warner Library has over 6,000 titles, many of those are not yet available on a digital format that TCM can show. Each year, more titles are transfered to digital but even the crew at Warners says it is going to take many more years before they have the library transferred.

 

Sony has only recently seen the light in their vault and is now undertaking the transfer to digital of many of the Columbia titles but, while not as big as the Warners library, it will take time.

 

Each transfer costs money and Home Video at each studio likely has a yearly budget to transfer x number of films. At studios like Warners, they try to get the maximum number of films transferred each year that the budget will allow. While Paramount, chooses to concentrate on their recent films and television shows instead.

 

So, I don't know that we would have more films to see with two channels. I think the costs of starting up a new channel (new logos, personnel, wrap arounds, sets, etc) would ultimately hinder both channels.

 

TCM has spent over ten years building its audience. Splitting the viewership would split its profits until the second channel got its sea legs which could cause the Accounting

Dept to think that commercials are a great way to stop the flow of red ink.

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Thanks for the explanation. This is why you are so vital to this board. Thank Mr. Cutter for sharing you with us.

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I don't think the costs for a new channel that only shows movies is nearly as high as would be for a channel with a lot of original programming. Also, if TCM doesn't do it first, it can lose market share to other start-ups, which perhaps to some extent it already might be, with channels such as Encore Western or Retroplex. Plus having two different channels on which to show classics could perhaps help it get better deals from the movie distributors.

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There was a new poster here a few weeks ago that purposed a Classic Sci-Fi Film Channel and Cinesage Jr posted to that thread about the costs of start up for such a venture.

 

While original programming would cost more because of the labor and talent involved. It is not cheap to start a new channel in today's world.

 

TCM is the only channel that shows films uncut, uninterrupted and most importantly, for the channels you mentioned, in their original aspect ratio.

 

Encore Westerns will sometimes show a film in letterbox but it is few and far between.

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Well, speaking from a strategic viewpoint, sometimes it pays off in the long run to make an investment today that will guarantee your market share in years, even decades to come. Now, as to whether or not that would be the case with a "TCM2" is purely a matter of conjecture for most of us. But, in theory, it is possible that there would be a scenario where the cost would be more than made up by keeping the lion's share of the classic movie market on cable channels, and the ability to cross-market DVD releases.

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But, in theory, it is possible that there would be a scenario where the cost would be more than made up by keeping the lion's share of the classic movie market on cable channels, and the ability to cross-market DVD releases. >>

 

But isn't that what TCM already is doing?

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I'm not talking about the present, I'm talking about the future. There's probably still room for growth in the coming decades.

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Another factor is distribution on satellite and cable. How much will Time Warner have to pay to get the new channel carried?

 

They could possibly use their clout they have because they own CNN, Headline News, Courtv, TNT, TBS, TCM, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, HBO, and Cinemax.

 

Boomerang is a spin off of the Cartoon Network. Maybe a spinoff of TCM is possible?

 

Another thing it may not be viable because maybe the other studios might form their own channel and/or not sell TCM television airing rights. Also, the rights fees may go up and TCM might not want to pay them.

 

There is also branding, which has been mentioned before.

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Good point. It seems to me that the number of "Classic" films available to the public, be they digitized or not, is finite. They're clearly not making any more of them, That era is long past. And by the time that the films of today that are of high enough quality to become "Classic" in their own right, the majority of us won't be around to see them. I think that the emphasis should be on the present, making it the best it can be, and having achieved that, then start looking at the immediate, not the distant, future. Am I making any sense?

 

Hollis

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The number may be theoretically finite, but there's still thousands and thousands of classic movies out there... many of them are practically forgotten. I don't know how many movies you watch, but I'd bet there could be enough to last you a lifetime!

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In the short term, there is a limited audience for classic era (especially b&w) movies, although the efforts of TCM are doubtless having the effect of expanding that audience by exposing a younger audience to films which they would otherwise never get the chance to see.

 

By having a mixture of genres and styles of film, it is more likely that the audience?s taste in classic movies might grow, whereas sequestering specific genres to the ghetto of a specialty channel, the growth of interest in the specific genre by the general interest audience, or the general audience in that specific genre, will be considerably squelched.

 

Ultimately, of course, all these films will be stored in an online resource, accessible on demand, (like the content on YouTube) at either a small cost-per-view, or a modest monthly membership fee. But that is still a few years in the future.

 

When that happens, while we will gain more control over what we see and when we see it, we will lose the guidance of TCM programmers to guide us through the maze of merely old movies to the classics, and those films which, while not exactly classy, are engaging and entertaining.

 

I am content to enjoy TCM as it is, for what it is, while it lasts.

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I don't think spinoffs are such a great idea. MTV and VH1 have done it, but I don't see TCM doing it. I think they show an excellent variety of movies as it is.

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> Do you mean being able to watch movies on the computer?

> Why would anyone want to do that?

 

They would continue to watch movies on their expensive large screen in-home theaters, but the cable-grade (or greater) signal would be delivered on demand via broadband cable, as called up either by computer, or by a built in terminal linked to their service providers.

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Other alternatives I've read about would be downloading a movie and burning your own DVD at home -- presumably when this becomes a reality the image quality would be virtually the same as a prerecorded DVD.

 

Or you can get the computer linked to your TiVo or DVR.

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I've found an even cheaper way to watch classics-watch 'em on YouTube. Yesterday I watched Animal Crackers.

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> TCM is the only channel that shows films uncut,

> uninterrupted and most importantly, for the channels

> you mentioned, in their original aspect ratio.

 

Really? Maybe we don't know how lucky we are in Australia, because we have Fox Classics as well.

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> I'm not talking about the present, I'm talking about

> the future. There's probably still room for growth in

> the coming decades.

 

But is there any actual growth in the audience for classic movies?

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In that day of the future when one has the opportunity to go to a list of every film ever made and pick one for a night's viewing, I wonder if it will start the day when we will become blase about all films?

 

With so much available at our fingertips, it could give us the attitude of, "Well, it's there if I ever want it."? Don't we already do that with a lot of entertainment things. "Oh, the play's on for three months? I'll see about going towards the end." If he/she ever does.

 

I mean, we've already basically stopped going to movies and enjoying the movie theater experience. "Naw. It's three blocks to the movie. And then I have to drive. And find a parking spot. And I'd rather stay home." "So, what do you want to do?" "Nothing."

 

Maybe it will start the day of barely watching movies at all. I thiink we are becoming lazier and lazier. Gad, people might start reading books again. (lol, if they can find someone to read to them.)

 

And before we forget, a lot of entertainment people (whether they are actors or video store owners) have their livelihood based on our activity. Inactivity kills their income.

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