Friday, February 1, 2008

Strike shows fatigue factor

Writers aren't the only ones feeling the fatigue. With so little new or worthwhile to watch on TV, viewers are moving away from their favorite TV networks to find other sources for entertainment. With so little new to watch in scripted series, I find myself watching more news programming. Thank goodness for an election year for interesting dramatic programming!

When historians look back on the aftermath of this strike, I believe they will come up with the following conclusions:
1. The writers union lost more money from the strike than they would have ever earned.
2. More jobs and business were lost than incremental revenue earned. Thus the SAG, DGA, and WGA all lost business. And jobs went to more non-union businesses. (look at the latest programming deals coming out of Canada)
3. Renegotiations need to begin well before a contract expires and a strike should be viewed as the very last possible recourse.
4. The strike enabled the AMPTP to turn their business model upside down by reducing the number of pilots they commission, reducing the extravagance factor from upfronts, commissioning scripts to go right to production and airing across available broadcast and cable networks to maximize its revenue potential. The result, greater cost efficiencies.
5. The entertainment industry will see a measureable downturn in spending as fat contines to be cut and boondoggles are turned away. The strike will have effectively killed the golden goose.
6. VOD usage will become the real revenue growth through advertising and subscription.