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AJ Cann

So your argument is that TV companies could drive much bigger audiences to late night old films this way? I'm not sure that's true, and I suspect there's a reason for the scheduling of Strictly Come Celebrity X Factor and It Came From Outer Space.


I accept that film-buff discussion programmes won't make Simon Cowell quake in his boots, but my point is that this is content they have already (the film) and by adding extra content to it they could get more value from it. They could run a 'Sunday night film club' type series where people _really_ analysed that night's film (and I don't just mean they get a load of celebrities to say 'I think it's great'). And if not, then maybe others should do it for them - looks at universities...


testing comments again because AJ Cann can't work the internets


Didn't they do this in the past with people like Alex Cox and Mark Kermode introducing movies with a bit of background, context etc? I remember enjoying them but they seem to have long since faded away..


Tv companies are in the business of getting audience share.

Film-buff discussions content drive most common audiences away 'cos they don't provide as instant visual gratification as another piece of tv sensationalism, and delayed gratification is not the fashion of the day.

Basis are always the same: the common viewer = "Don't make me think, I am lazy. (You too ;). TV is a lay back medium.

Unless there is no audience (3AM?), TV channels won't drive away audiences with stuff that only interest buffs! But at that time is the educational broadcasting! Tough world!


@Jukesie - yes, the Alex Cox series worked well, and was what I had in mind. Trouble is they had rather limited films.
@Mariano - I don't think that argument applies in a multi-channel world. ITV2 (or 3) shows the same film _every_ night for a week, and likewise Film4 show the same films over and over. So it's not about driving away a mainstream audience, but getting a renewed audience for existing content. Currently they are chasing ever diminishing returns (show the same film every night and by night 5 the figures are low), instead of finding ways to make that content more appealing.

Nick Sharratt

I think the flaw in your logic (I'm starting with the premis there is a flaw as TV execs don't strike me as likely not to have thought of re-doing what has already been done) is that even with multiple channels reshowing the same content, there's 'practically zero cost' TV in just showing the movie again, so even cheap TV is expensive by comparison.

I'm not a TV exec, but it's my understaning that they get a license from the content owners to show a film for a certain window of time on a certain media, and I'm guessing that covers the days they re-use the same films over and over.

So, they milk that investment as far as possible keeping their additional overheads as low as possible - on the basis I asume that they pay for the content to do the work of drawing an audience, and market forces dictate the value of that content in doing that job. They've probably monitored the effect of trying to gild the Lilly and find a diminishing return on investment. After all, even a cheap tv discussion format show is going to be 'expensive' in relation to the drastically reducing ad revenues in the multi-channel, multi-platform user generated content world today.

However, I do like your idea - I wonder though if the real opportunity might be for 'parisite' media. A parallel channel on a truly cheap format like AudioBoo or home webcasting with 'programmes' driven mostly by social media (Twitter) - no infrastructure overheads but relying on the concept of building towards the big event when their viewers switch to watch the film then come back to discuss it etc.

Could this further undermine the ad revenues for the main media if it took off though and end up completely deconstructing the industry which feeds it initially?


@Nick - that is indeed a safe starting assumption :) Yes, I think you're probably right, even cheap TV is more expensive than 'free' (ie they've paid for it already TV). But I still think they're just being lazy with content here - as I mentioned they manage it for football analysis. I did also wonder if there was a problem around rights - ie in order to show clips from a film for analysis that would count as one of their 'showings' so wasn't worthwhile.
But, yes, I too think you could have a good parasite media show (maybe individuals, or someone like the Guardian who do a similar thing with their 'parasite' sports coverage).

Ewan McIntosh

I'm coming to this a bit late in the day, but the new Film4 site launched within the last few weeks, and is designed to provide that expansion out that film buffs want, while also providing information and amusement to those who are just wanting some simple background stuff:

Scottish company designed it, too.

However, the really exciting stuff will come when, instead of relying on two screens (most people DON'T have a laptop or PC in the same room as the telly) we manage to use Sony's or the BBC's new tech from about winter 2010 or early 2011. It allows supplementary material to appear alongside, over the top of, underneath or somehow 'around' the filmed content.

Tons more on this work here:

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