Q: Are you noticing a big shift in channeling from shows to the network’s pay sites now? Are these networks trying to move more shows to their own pay sites? Are they shifting their niche programming more towards revenue generation away from their terrestrial networks? Is this a way for networks to generate more revenue and take it away from cable companies?
– Chuck via Facebook
rob: There’s a lot to unpack here, but yes, media companies are now spending a lot more on their money-losing streaming services and less on their profitable broadcast networks because they see streaming as the future and broadcast as a declining business.
OTT (over the top) streaming services by definition cut out the middleman (cable/satellite transmission systems), but that’s also complicated as at least one media company, Comcast, owns TV stations, cable systems that also provide internet services, and a streaming service, Peacock. For Comcast in particular, it’s a tricky balancing act. And yet it is NBC alone that has come up with the idea of dropping the 10 p.m. hour of network programming.
While it’s sometimes a niche show making the move from linear TV to streaming (see: ‘Doctor Who’ moving from BBC America to Disney+ in 2023), we’ve also seen fewer niche shows making the move, like ‘SEAL Team ‘ (CBS to Paramount+) and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ (ABC to Disney+) to attract more older viewers to streaming services that typically appeal to younger consumers.
In the early days of streaming, streaming services didn’t care about a viewer’s age, only paying customers. But with all the major streaming services bar Apple TV+ adding a cheaper, ad-supported tier by the end of 2022, it will be interesting to see if advertisers’ thirst for younger eyeballs, which has been so evident in linear TV for decades, will continue for the Streaming transitions, too.
The business strategy of media companies has also changed over the past year. Until Netflix reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers in April, Wall Street seemed most interested in streaming service subscriber growth, not profit, assuming that the more subscribers a streaming service has, the more it has He can earn money in the long run. However, as streaming services scoop the U.S. market for potential new subscribers, Wall Street’s focus has shifted back to profit rather than subscriber growth, prompting even more shifts in media companies’ priorities.
Q: We recently phased out cable, but we do have some streaming services. One is Paramount+. I thought since the show “Yellowstone” was on Paramount Network it would be on Paramount+, but it’s not there. Can you please clarify this for me?
— Chris via email
rob: This is a good question because the assumption is perfectly logical if all streamers have been behaving in the same way. But they don’t.
While many prioritize putting their own shows on their own streaming service, Paramount Global, which owns Paramount Network and Paramount+, has previously slashed deals left and right in favor of an instant cash grab. That’s why Paramount Global’s “South Park” episodes air on HBO Max (to compensate, “South Park” specials are streamed on Paramount+) and why Paramount Network sold the streaming rights for “Yellowstone” to Peacock.
In retrospect, this deal between Yellowstone and Peacock looks like a mistake. To make up for the absence of Yellowstone on Paramount+, Paramount Global ordered 1883, a Yellowstone prequel series premiering on Paramount+ in December 2021, and the upcoming 1923 (Dec. 18) as well Paramount+. The original “Yellowstone” returns for its fifth season on November 13 at 8 p.m. on Paramount Network.
These days, most streaming services would prefer to have their own shows on their streaming platforms — but not always.
Warner Bros. Discovery, which had tried to keep its programming for HBO Max until the completion of the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger earlier this year, has now adopted a policy of more liberally selling programming to outside platforms, something that at least one Wall Street analyst Analyst wants Paramount Global to return to action.
Q: “The Masked Singer” has now been anticipated several times by baseball. Will these three episodes ever air?
— Becca, Greensburg
rob: Postseason baseball routinely results in last-minute schedule changes. This year, Masked Singer was caught up in those changes. And yes, those pre-emoted episodes were/are aired.
A new episode aired on November 6, and Wednesday night’s episodes will continue on November 9 (if you missed episodes, they will be available on Fox.com and Hulu). A rerun scheduled for November 23 will now be an original episode. And an original episode will air on Thanksgiving night on November 24th.
Q: Any updates on Season 3 of First Wives Club on BET+?
– Patrick via email
rob: The third season of “First Wives Club” debuts on November 17th on streaming service BET+.
Q: A rival of Doug Mastriano had a commercial featuring a clip from a news program with KDKA-TV’s Heather Abraham. Curious if they need permission from KDKA or Heather to use this clip? do you pay them
— Darlene via email
rob: There is no payment and no permit is required. This likely falls under the “fair use” doctrine of copyright law, which allows small portions of a program to be used without compensation or permission.
That doesn’t mean news anchors like ending up in political ads — Philadelphia’s KYW-TV’s Jim Gardner expressed his displeasure earlier this year after appearing in a Mehmet Oz commercial — but there’s not much they’re doing about it, either be able.
KYW general manager Bernie Prazenica told the Philadelphia Inquirer that federal law prohibits the station from censoring or amending an ad by a legally qualified candidate.
You can reach television writer Rob Owen at email@example.com or 412-380-8559. Keep following Rob Twitter or Facebook. Ask TV questions by email or phone. Please enter your first name and location.