Sunday, November 4, 2007

Writers' Strike

The Writers Guild of America is preparing to strike after they were not able to reach a deal with the studios over compensation from DVD sales and "new media" distribution. The writers feel that the studios are making money through other distribution channels and are not receiving an adequate payout for their work. It is a sign of the change in the media landscape. Movie and TV studios have been trying to gain a foothold on the internet and mobile phones, and have seen a sharp increase in revenues over the last few years. The money that they have brought in has been substantial, but small in comparison to the older forms of distribution. They are hoping that the money that they bring can compensate for various losses in shares in older media, and do not what to share any of the profits yet that they have received through web and mobile distribution.

In the mean time, certain shows will halt production, such as the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, Leno, Letterman, Conan and Kimmel. Then daytime shows like the View, Regis will halt production in the next week or so. Other scripted shows will run into the beginning of next year, but then will be forced to stop production if a deal isn't settled in the next few months.

Hollywood is taking a big chance by allowing this to happen. With declining audiences to begin with, people may turn away from the TV and find other forms of entertainment to fill their time, and may not come back in the same numbers. Look no further than the National Hockey League, who went on strike 3 years ago. The sport is now an afterthought because people found other things to do with their time. You take something away, and sometimes people won't come back.

1 comment:

Elly said...

I don't think hockey itself has become an afterthought. Hockey fans (like me) just turned their support to the minor leagues. So perhaps viewers won't give up on video, just the way they make and get it.