Saturday, December 1, 2007

Strikers See the Green

The writers can start writing once again…the strike is finally over (well, sort of)! It seems the unseen heroes behind the scenes that we know so well have come to an agreement with studios over their contracts. Hallelujah! But what I don’t understand is why the Studios waited so long to come to terms? Were the hashing out the numbers? Ever wonder what the executive conversations sounded like over at Walt Disney, “$34.3Billion minus a small fraction of $130M over 3 years…oh boy, that’s steep. Maybe we should just let our writers go and just run syndicated shows forever. We still have advertising, right?”

The writers had a very valid argument against the studios in asking for revenues for online replays of TV shows so what puzzles me is why this strike didn’t occur last year when replays of online shows were a bigger threat to TiVo than DVR. Especially when advertisers will soon pay more and more for online ads that can’t be skipped and can be more targeted than traditional TV advertising.

Also, there was another strike going on at the same time on Broadway - that strike is also over and the theater district is back in the cash-collections business. With all the revenues lost given the inconvenient timing for this strike, I expect ticket prices to ultimately increase for consumers. Nevertheless, this was the first Broadway strike in the union’s 121 years of existence, so hopefully this is will be the last we ever hear of a Broadway strike…unless, of course, Broadway shows begin to play online, as well. Now there’s an idea!