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How TV Ownership affects us

Barry

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How TV Ownership affects us
« on: May 15, 2019, 10:20:45 PM »
      <A brief history of TV show ownership, but only on how it affected us, the viewers
 
1950s:
The 1950s began with two major networks, CBS and NBC which owned two networks, the Red and the Blue.  The FCC ordered divesture and the second NBC Network became ABC. There was also the smaller Dumont Network.
At that time, generally, the SPONSORS owned the shows and bought time on the upstart new networks.  This changed for three reason:
1.  The Quiz show scandals where the sponsors fixed everything. No one went to jail because, believe or not, it was not illegal at that time!
2.  Desi Arnez filmed I Love Lucy, at his own expense, rather than broadcasting it live. He then created the rerun, which as we know today is where the real money is! Then, they didn’t think anyone would want to see a show a second time.
3.  Shows got so expensive that you need more than one sponsor, so the Network now owned the shows and sold time on it.
 
The 1960s: 
TV just grew and became a huge money-maker.  Color was introduced.
TV salaries were low and there were very few residuals for actors on reruns.
.
Cable begins: Under pressure from the Networks the FCC rules first that cable cannot transmit Broadcast TV because that is to be free.  Cable is only allowed to show movies less than three year old or older than ten. This gives Networks no competition to most movies. (I have honestly forgotten the exact window of time on this rule.)  It was overturned in 1972.
 
The 1970s:
The TV Unions got strong and for the first time actors and behind the scenes people shared in the profits of reruns.
Movies are very popular on the Networks, they even begin to make their own
 
The big news was the FCC strongly limited the amount of show the Networks could own, demanding divesture. This meant independent producers could now own their own shows.  We got great TV, All ton the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Hill Street Blues all for non-networked owned shows.
By the late 1970s The Networks are less concerned with cable and face greater competition from local stations.
 
1980s:
Under FCC rules it is illegal for a foreigner to start a TV network, but they allow Rupert Murdock to do so.
 
Under FCC rules it is illegal to buy a US station with foreign money: but they allow Rupert Murdock to do so.
 
Under FCC rules it is Illegal to own a newspaper and a TV station in the same area: but they allow Rupert Murdock to do so when he buys Channel 5 in N.Y. although he owns the NY Post.
 
Under FCC rules you cannot own two stations in the same locality: but they allow Rupert Murdock to do so when he buys Channel 9.  He then buys the Wall Street Journal, so he owns two papers in the same Market.
 
This becomes important because it is the first of many purchases of a TV Network by a movie studio. They want to now make the TV shows and broadcast them.
 
Cable grows as CNN is founded in 1980 and many superstations join the fold.
 
1990s:
As cable becomes dominate, Disney buys the ABC Network and their cxable stations. 
Soon, CBS will be bought by Viacom, owner of Paramount Studios (the have since kind of split, but the companies have the same owners and will merge again).
 
Satellite TV competes with Cable. Now the cable companies pressure the FCC and they issue a ruling that the satellite companies cannot broadcast local TV stations. (I had to get an antenna when I got Direct TV). This stands until (you guessed it) Rupert Murdock buys it in 2003 and then they let the local stations on Satellite.
 
CNN, TBS and other stations are bought by Time Warner as Movie studios see cable as their distributer of product. Then Time Warner starts it own cable company buying up smaller cable providers.  This is getting to like Green Giant buying your supermarket; the FCC does not interfere as monopolies begin.
 
2000s:
Universal Studios merge with NBC. Now all TV Networks are owned by Movie Studios. Then CommNet buys NBC/Universal. So the maker of the show, the broadcaster of the show and the distributors of the show are all one company.  The FCC is now allowing monopolies, which it never did.
The FCC now allows the Networks to own their own programs.  Fox begins Hulu but that is now owned by Disney. Disney will have all of its properties on streaming apps that they own. CBS now has its own streaming app; NBC gets their own later this year.

This causes the producers and actors to get screwed. How?  They were supposed to receive a percentage of the profits when their shows (which are now owned by the networks not individual producers) were sold into syndication. However when they companies sell it to themselves the deliberately do it a low rate so the producers and actors get a low percentage.  The Parent company reaps a fortune.

With Fox bought by Disney there will be less movies made each year, Disney will not compete with itself. With studios only producing what they own, we will have less variety and no Hill Street Blues or All in the Family.  We will have less competition, less innovation and higher profits for fewer companies. And Disney will make only the movies that fits their streaming and TV operations.
 


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tripplej

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 04:04:30 AM »
Great historical write up Barry. Never knew the details prior to reading this. Great info. :)
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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 07:07:48 AM »
Great write up Barry. I think it's telling that much of this consolidation has happened under both Republican and Democrat Presidents and control of Congress. It goes to show how powerful it is to have good lobbyists in Washington. 
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Barry

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2019, 08:33:28 AM »
Great write up Barry. I think it's telling that much of this consolidation has happened under both Republican and Democrat Presidents and control of Congress. It goes to show how powerful it is to have good lobbyists in Washington.
David we like to think that government regulates industry, but I think industry regulates government.
Do you know how FOX news got on New York Cable?  Because they had CNN and MSNBC  the cable companies did NOT want to add Fox news in the 1980s.  Mayor Giuliani said he would pull the licenses  of the cable companies if they did not add Fox news. So it got added.  Another victory for Murdock.

https://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/04/nyregion/giuliani-pressures-time-warner-to-transmit-a-fox-channel.html
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 08:37:19 AM by Barry »
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AVSCraig

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2019, 09:04:32 AM »
Network TV faces enormous competition now, with online content, and endless streaming services. Honestly though, 99% of TV content was crap, and is crap. It's like mining diamonds - you need to look through 10 tons of slag to find that one tiny gem. There are still the occasional good shows. However, my viewing of anything consists of 99% theatrical released films, and 1% television. I only have one 40" HDTV - and a home theater with the RS4500 - for movies !
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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 09:12:32 AM »
The only network shows I watch (actually, I record and watch on my timetable) are The Big Bang Theory (series finale tonight), Young Sheldon (my favorite show), and Last Man Standing. When those shows are done, I'm through with the networks. 

The only reason I still have cable is for sports programming (which I'm hardly ever watching other than Shark's hockey) and some golf tournaments (mostly majors, although I will try and watch the Sunday round if I don't have any other plans). I'm like Craig, mostly movies, although I have been watching additional shows via Netflix and Amazon Prime. 
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AVSCraig

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 09:17:52 AM »
The only network shows I watch (actually, I record and watch on my timetable) are The Big Bang Theory (series finale tonight), Young Sheldon (my favorite show), and Last Man Standing. When those shows are done, I'm through with the networks.

The only reason I still have cable is for sports programming (which I'm hardly ever watching other than Shark's hockey) and some golf tournaments (mostly majors, although I will try and watch the Sunday round if I don't have any other plans). I'm like Craig, mostly movies, although I have been watching additional shows via Netflix and Amazon Prime.
We watch " Seal Team " ( that one is great in the theater ). In the past, " Revolution ", " Under The Dome ", " Extant " and " Salvation " have been pretty good. I think all of those were summer replacement series. That's about it, other than the news and rarely - South Park !! 
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Barry

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 09:32:02 AM »
First, I am with David with Big Bang and especially Young Sheldon, love that show!

My TV, even home theatre, is on mostly for Baseball (Yankees and Mets) and movies, on blu-ray, cable and streaming.

For the most part, adult programming has left commercial TV a long time ago. It first went to Basic cable, then HBO (Sopranos) and now streaming. Network TV is made up of a lot of silly and cheap "reality shows", juvenile "sit-coms" and redundant action adventure shows.

OOPS I left out I watch Jeopardy,60 Minutes and CBS Sunday Morning.  And, to be honest, NCIS.

I won't close the door completely on Network TV because it may surprise me as it did with Young Sheldon.  But the era of me being excited about the new shows in September has left a long time ago.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 09:57:28 AM by Barry »
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AVSCraig

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 09:54:33 AM »
Used to love the show " Bones ". Every now and then, network TV comes up with something good. 

We bundle AT & T U Verse, internet and wireless cell phone, so we will probably always have network TV - for the foreseeable future anyway. 
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tripplej

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 10:39:20 AM »
We ditch cable/sat long time ago and went with OTA but to be honest, today, we hardly and I mean hardly ever watch anything from the antenna. We stream either from amazon prime or netflix or watch movies from blu ray.. That's it and the occasional PS4 gaming.
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Barry

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2019, 02:54:39 PM »
We ditch cable/sat long time ago and went with OTA but to be honest, today, we hardly and I mean hardly ever watch anything from the antenna. We stream either from amazon prime or netflix or watch movies from blu ray.. That's it and the occasional PS4 gaming.
Tracy, do you watch any sports?
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tripplej

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2019, 04:12:23 PM »
I don't watch any sports. Just movies now. :)
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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2019, 10:56:58 PM »
Barry, twothings. First, The Big Bang Theory ended one very touching note and kudos to the writers. I'll miss the gang each Thursday.  Next, Young Sheldon was icing on the cake. Another exemplary season of the show. I'm looking forward to where they take it next year. 
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AVSMike

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2019, 09:53:43 AM »
For the last 8 months, I have not watched any TV shows. I usually just watch movies. Have not even turned a TV on in several days. Been reading a lot lately.
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Barry

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Re: How TV Ownership affects us
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2019, 03:26:51 PM »
David:
 
For the last fifty years traditional sitcoms always had the noisy/annoying but funny neighbor or co-worker.  Mel Cooley was one on the Dick Van Dyke Show, Danny Devito was the best on Taxi.
 
Chuck Lorre, the producer/writer of Big Bang, took those annoying characters and in Cybill, Rosanne, Two and a Half men, and even Mom, brought them center stage and built the show around them.
 
What I saw of Two and a Half men was at first funny, then annoying. As with his others the characters never grew, they remained disgusting and immure.  And on this show it was often the women, their mother, wives and girlfriends that help ruin these men.
 
Big Bang was an apology for Two and a Half Men!  The characters, some disgusting at the beginning, remained funny but grew and matured. Women made them better. It’s good it ended now because in real life Sheldon is 46, although he plays a role ten years younger.  But he experiences  growth from being self-centered and annoying to being thoughtful and caring. (And we know he will even be a father!)  Delaying that would have been frustrating on that show.
 
The character of Penny should also be mentioned.  She was introduced as a pretty air-head who wanted to be an actress, but was a waitress. She also slept around with not terrific guys.  Give her credit and the writers credit for letting her grow up too.  She finds a serious job, does well and becomes more understanding of others. (But she never had any real girlfriends.  Even at the end she just was friends with the two co-stars.)
 
I love Young Sheldon, a show that totally took me by surprise. (Which is why I will never totally give up on TV)  And the ending this week was the perfect coda to The Big Bang Theory.  I REALLY feel that that could also reach out to young people having a hard time and give them some hope that their future can be better.  That ending was unforgettable!
 
 
 
 
 


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