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Is TCM getting too commercial?


TopBilled
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THE IRON PETTICOAT is scheduled four times between tonight and the end of March. TCM's programmers seem to be using the channel as a place to advertise a special new DVD.

 

I am guessing that opinion would fall into one of three categories:

 

a) This is blatant commercialism, but at least the films are shown without commercial interruptions, though the film itself is one big commercial for the DVD.

 

B) This is not commercialism, and TCM is helping fans of Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn rediscover a classic. And I always loved it when Grandma made me eat all my lima beans.

 

c) It is what it is. Even though Bob Osborne will likely hold the DVD up in front of the camera tonight to remind people it is for sale.

 

1iron.png

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If the goal of TCM was to sell more copies of the DVD for Iron Peticoat, wouldn't it be best for TCM to mention the movie and the DVD over and over again but NOT show the movie (or only show it once)?

 

i.e. by showing the movie multiple times TCM reduces the need for someone to buy the DVD.

 

 

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I don't think it works that way. The TCM broadcast of IRON PETTICOAT will have the TCM logo on it, so it won't technically be a clean copy. One has to actually purchase the DVD to get a clean copy with bonus features if there are any.

 

*Also you are looking at it from the low-middle or straight middle class perspective. But I think this channel's target audience is upper-middle and higher. Their ideal viewer is someone who can afford to go on cruises and someone who does not spend hours recording broadcasts but someone who watches what airs and goes out and buys a copy without thinking twice about adding to a bulging home collection.*

 

The fact that IRON PETTICOAT is airing so often in the next few months does seem to be that the channel is a platform to stimulate home video sales.

 

Of course, we're all going to have different feelings about this.

 

Edited by: TopBilled on Nov 29, 2012 12:46 PM

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So just where do you think TCM gets the money to do all the good things that it does? You think maybe the programmers wander the land looking for rainbows and then dig up the pot of gold? I don't know what you pay for cable, but it's a well-known fact that cable companies only pay TCM about 25 or 30 cents a month per subscriber. In the world of cable TV that's not a lot of money.

 

If part of the deal to get certain films involves TCM cross-promoting DVD releases helps keep the wolf from the door or maybe I should say commercials out of the movies, then I have no problem with that.

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My honest opinion is that you may have it backward. Getting certain films does not require cross-promoting. Think of all the films that could just air without Bob or Ben hawking a DVD in front of the camera. But selling certain films, especially around the holidays when people are likely to be freer with the credit cards, requires exploiting all platforms available and TCM is a platform for sales. Ka-ching.

 

The upper-middle and higher do not usually complain about cable bills. Do they?

 

Edited by: TopBilled on Nov 29, 2012 1:12 PM

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mark,

 

I do not subscribe to the idea that TCM is doing its fans a favor. In fact, I see it as the other way around. The viewers are doing the channel a favor by tuning in and buying product and services. Think of all the jobs we are creating by keeping this channel 'hot' and 'talked about' month after month.

 

Now, I love TCM because I love old movies. But I feel this can be a good exercise and can lead to awareness about the commercial aspects and long-range business objectives of TCM.

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Duh! Is TCM getting too comercial?? Let's see, TCM branded DVDs which are ceaselessly

promoted, Film Festivals with very high ticket prices, TCM cruises, TCM books, hats, t-shirts, etc. etc. etc. (Surely TCM bras and briefs will soon appear in the TCM Shop!) Do you need to even ask? The TCM we see today has very little to do with the TCM which debuted 15+ years ago. And, before everybody starts "flame throwing," I "get" that Time Warner bought them and they are a nasty, greedy old corporation which only cares about profits, thus bringing TCM to the "All Commercials, Nearly All The Time" state where they now exist. (Makes me truly want to smack Ted Turner upside the head.)

 

Don't get me wrong. I love, love TCM and watch it nearly to the exclusion of any other network.

But, I do miss the good old days when breaks between films were filled with shorts, "What A Character," and other movie-related content with only an occasional commercial mention.

 

As for "The Iron Petticoat" (idiotic title, by the way) everything I have read about it seems to

indicate that it is a horrible movie (only notable for by being the single film Hepburn and Hope did

together) which was completely disavowed by its own writer. TCM, if you want to save some old

movies, go for the pre-code films, not this drivel.

 

Lydecker

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>The TCM we see today has very little to do with the TCM which debuted 15+ years ago

 

Thank you, lydecker. This is exactly related to my intended post later today at 6 p.m. You are on the same wavelength.

 

I think the crassest example of commercialism would be the TCM tree ornaments that are for sale, and at a price higher than the average lower-middle class viewer can easily afford. If someone came to your home and saw the TCM logo dangling from your tree, is that something you would be proud of? It seems tacky to me, and it seems like the absurd lengths to which the marketing department will go to make a buck. Thumbs down.

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If TCM had not spent the money to restore and remaster the movie then they would not have to sell DVDs of it in order to recover that money.

 

Is what most people want from TCM is that they show only old prints of cheap-to-rent movies so there is less need for them to advertise between movies?

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>If TCM had not spent the money to restore and remaster the movie then they would not have to sell DVDs of it in order to recover that money.

 

Sorry, I do not buy that line of 'logic.' Nobody asked for a restored print of IRON PETTICOAT. Most would be content with the already preserved prints of NINOTCHKA and SILK STOCKINGS. What happened here is that someone looked at PETTICOAT, saw two marketable names (Hope and Hepburn, never mind the fact it was a flop and a film Hepburn herself hated) and decided to restore it so they could sell copies of it. Using TCM primetime to help the sales campaign kick into high gear is the next part of this master plan.

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What I see here is more and more speculation. Anyhow, if TCM does have some type of 'master plan' to make money, I have no problem with this as long as the 'dead time' between movies doesn't increase to promote products. Typically I turn to TCM just before the start of a movie so I can avoid what TCM shows between movies.

 

But if Iron Petticoat is as bad as people say it is and TCM's master plan is able to find a lot of suckers to buy the DVD (after watching the movie on TCM no less) then to me this reflects more on those suckers than it does TCM.

 

 

 

 

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I have no idea if *Iron Petticoat* is a good film or a bad film, but it hasn't available because it's been tied up in rights problems for almost forty years.

 

TCM recently worked out the rights issues and is premiering the film tonight.

 

For more on the film and the rights issues:

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bob-hope-katharine-hepburn-TCM-iron-petticoat-383148

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*"If TCM had not spent the money to restore and remaster the movie then they would not have to sell DVDs of it in order to recover that money."* - SansFin

 

Yep. There is that. And you can also add the financial investment necessary to untangle the numerous legal issues involved in bringing this *never-before-seen-on-tv* film to the public.

Entertainment and estate lawyers do not come cheap(ly).

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*"(If) TCM's master plan is able to find a lot of suckers to buy the DVD (after watching the movie on TCM no less) then to me this reflects more on those suckers than it does TCM."* - JJG

 

In the realm of "collectors", nothing is too obscure, rare or "bad" not to be purchased. A "completist" wants it all, bless their hearts.

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TCM is to be congratulated for making The Iron Petticoat available for the first time in years. If the film is the dog that many say it is, so be it, but at least viewers will have the opportunity now to judge for themselves. I'm sure that there are enough fans of the film's two stars who will appreciate having the opportunity to see the film even if it does not prove to be either star at his or her best.

 

If TCM is showing the film another three times after tonight that will give TCM viewers more opportunities to view it. Otherwise they may well be some Hope/Hepburn fans who might actually be MORE inclined to buy it should they miss tonight's broadcast.

 

And if TCM is blatantly try to turn some kind of profit off this film, I see no reason for concern. It is still better than making money by putting commercials in the middle of a film. It is no skin off my nose if the channel makes money on DVD sales of this film or any others. I have a hard time understanding why others are so concerned that the channel has understandable interests in making sales.

 

Perhaps the channel has lost a certain innocence that it once had in which it wasn't promoting sales so much between its movie presentations. I never had the lucky chance to see TCM years ago and, obviously, it would have been more of a delight to see more in the way of shorts between the features, as it apparently was then.

 

Still, while I'm sorry that there are fewers shorts to view today, it seems a very small price to pay as long as TCM does NOT go the way of AMC, with commercial interruptions and promotions at the bottom of the screen while a film is playing. TCM is still the best that we have as old movie viewers. If the channel makes some money on DVD sales of The Iron Petticoat, good for them. Those sales may lead to the restoration of other films, including, hopefully, some from the pre-code era.

 

This, I think, is much ado about nothing.

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*"If the channel makes some money on DVD sales of The Iron Petticoat, good for them. Those sales may lead to the restoration of other films, including, hopefully, some from the pre-code era."* - TomJH

 

TCM has devoted evenings promoting their "Forbidden Hollywood" collections of pre-code films for years. And Robert Osborne displayed the DVD set in his hands on those nights. A great number of the TCM Vault Collections are promoted with evenings of programming on the channel. What is happening with *The Iron Petticoat* is far from unique or new.

 

*"This, I think, is much ado about nothing."*

Definitely. But they are oh, so earnest about it.

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}Dear Readers,

>

> I am going to make a revolutionary statement in this thread at 6 p.m. Arizona time, when IRON PETTICOAT starts. If you are following the activity here, make sure you check back. I can't wait to see what sort of responses it generates.

>

Ok, it's now 6:32. We've all been waiting with baited breath.

Or maybe not...oh, I see, Arizona time. Dang, now we have to wait 3(?) more hours...should I pass that time by watching *Iron Petticoat* ?

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