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Santa Fe, NM

And in other news...

the sky is blue, water is wet and fire will burn you. Sherwood Schwartz discovered that licensing Gilligan's Island to TBS (with it's national footprint) killed his ability to license it to the hundreds of local stations looking for after school programming. So the idea of exclusive licensing with restricted distribution that benefits content providers and stations/channels has been around for decades.

The part that is arguable is whether it benefits the viewer. Clearly the stations/channel will pay more for exclusive content. Does that result in better/more programming for the viewer?


Tuscaloosa, AL

1 recommendation

The difference is that TBS wasn't really a dominant player, so Schwartz really didn't face any huge penalty if he had decided not to license to them. He could have continued cutting deals with local TV stations.

However, if a company like TW tells a programmer that, in order for TW to carry their shows, they must agree not to get into Internet distribution is a huge deal since, if the programmers are turned away by cable, they'll starve. Essentially, the same thing was happening with satellite distribution in the 1980s. Cable didn't want programmers to sell to satellite dish owners, and it took Congress passing a law to put a stop to that. Granted, it wasn't enough to save the BUD industry, but you can bet that, had such a law not been passed, the cable companies would have frozen DirecTV and Dish out of the market.


Santa Fe, NM
Good point.