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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: JMS: Questions abour Sci-Fi channel
    Date: 9/9/2002 2:32:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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I don't think the Farscape situation much impacts my stuff with SFC one way or
another. I suspect there were a number of factors, including the cost of the
show (which was the highest on the network, from what I've heard, but that's
second-hand and may not be accurate) combined with the fact that SFC (via their
parent company USA Networks) didn't own the show.

Lemme splain....

If a network owns the show they air, they can reap long-term profits from
syndication of the program. More and more, USA Network (and other cable
outlets) is under pressure to own what they produce, otherwise they're paying
huge sums of money to produce shows that they air a few times, then the money
goes to the studio that did the actual production. The higher the cost, the
iffier the proposition.

So that may have been an issue here. They needed Farscape to help build their
audience, but now that this seems to be coming together for them, the logical
(for a network) thing would be to start paring away what they don't own, and
which is costly, to replace it with their own stuff.

One of the things you can never allow yourself to forget is that TV is a
business designed around making a profit, and determining who owns what
long-term revenue streams.

Doesn't affect Polaris one way or another, since if that goes, it would be
under the aegis of the network.


(all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: JMS: Questions abour Sci-Fi channel
    Date: 9/9/2002 4:37:00 PM  

Message 2 in thread 

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>So shouldn't the studio that owns a show be giving Sci-Fi a better deal to
>offset that, and get a studio's show on the air? That way, everybody can

That's the logical thing, but logic and show business rarely dine at the same

Most studios would rather own 100% of nothing than 50% of something. That
sounds outrageous, but it's all a part of that all-or-nothing profit thing that
they ALL have going. And they're all in competition with one another.

This came into play on the Rangers situation, where WB was reluctant to let SFC
own a part of the show, since SFC is owned by Universal Vivendi, and WB is in
competition with Universal.

So it's a real balancing act. If Rangers had gotten a higher rating (had it
not been killed on the East Coast by the biggest football playoff in the last
decade), even though it was owned by WB, they would almost certainly have
committed to a series, since that rating would balance out not owning the
show...on the flip side, had Rangers been owned by SFC/Universal, and gotten
the same rating that it actually got, they would've been able to say "Okay, let
it grow, because we own it and we're willing to take the risk and we're losing
less money in license fees since we're paying them to ourselves in any event
and we can get the merchandising revenues," which only the studio gets.

Studio logic is kind of like looking at the gorgon...too close and you're
turned to stone.


(all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)

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