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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m really curious to know what rules the programmers have to follow when scheduling the HD programs on either of these channels. Some movies seem to be rare gems that you need to be lucky to catch, whilst others are repeated ad nauseium. Some examples that spring to mind – In the 12 months that I’ve been watching the HBO I’ve only noticed one showing of ‘The Professional’. A few months ago ‘The Pledge’ turned up out of the blue, had two or possibly three showings, and then quickly disappeared without trace. I can understand that ‘The Professional’ was perhaps one of HBO’s first films (shown many times originally) and was just given a one off encore but I think ‘The Pledge’ is too new for that to be the case. For a comparison I notice that ‘Saving Silverman’ is back for another seven showings in June alone.


My set up decided to throw a wobbly last night and began to pixelate like crazy, half an hour into ‘Apocalypse Now’. Took me an hour to solve the problem but never mind, I thought, lets just check to see when it’s on again. Looking at the June and July Showtime HD schedule it’s nowhere to be found and I believe it’s only had three showings in total so far. Weird.


So you end up with the impression that there is a bias towards some movies and not others and I’m wondering why that would be. Are royalties involved with each showing and some royalties are more expensive than others ? Repeats are a necessity for the programmers, and I’m sure we would all start complaining if all movies suddenly only had one showing, but I just wish there was a better overall balance.


Thanks, I feel better now that I've got that off my chest :)


Tony.
 

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I feel the same way 100%. However, like you, I don't have the answers. It must have something to do with "fees per showing," because there is no reason that "Apocalypse Now Redux" (excellent movie and transfer) is

shown only a few times and many dogs like "Bone Daddy," "Meteor Man," etc. have an equal or greater amount.
 

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Do you know how many time "The Storm" is shown?

HBO is becoming boring.

They have too much crap.


Maybe it has to do with DVD sales.

The less DVD sales, the more HBO view??
 

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Movies are sold in packages, if you want the good movies you have to take a huge load of crap to get them. Once you have paid for the crap you're going to run it. Far fewer runs are allowed for the good movies than for the junk. Those bad movies become schedule fillers.


It follows the same marketing scheme as baseball cards, the most popular player is on the top of the pack, the rest are duplicates and unknowns.
 

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Plus, a lot of these deals are struck before the movie even plays in a theatre. Which means someone at HBO thought "Sister Act 2" was going to be the hit of the decade . But, yeah, they're packages. Syndicated TV is much the same way, too. Want Oprah? Ok, but you have to clear Rikki Lake, too. (I don't think they're the same syndicator, but that's just an example of the way it works).


Doc
 

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As far as I know each of the major studios has an exclusive multiyear contract with either HBO, Showtime or Starz. While the studios control when a movie can be shown initially, I am not so sure that the studios are limiting the number of times a movie can be shown or when. It appears to me to be more a function of ratings.


Understanding which studio(as U.S. distributor) has the rights is important to HDTV viewers as the only chance to see New Line movies is on PPV as they have a contract with Starz. Artisan movies will appear on Showtime.
 

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I did not mean to imply anything about contracts between studios and non pay TV. There it is easy to contract to show a particular existing movie or movies a certain number of times.


The problem arises when you have an exclusive multiyear contract on pay tv which involves movies that don't yet exist. They clearly do not show all movies the same number of times.
 

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In the last month HBOHD showed both Seventh Sign and Caddy Shack once at like 4 in the morning. Without timeshifting most would never see these 2 movies. Come on, if your gonna show a movie once, show it when people can watch it.
 

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I am getting very disappointed with HBO.

They are turning into a regular TV type of channel, with fewer movies and tons of repeats.

If you go to the HBO.com site, and download the guide, it is only HBO and MAX channel.


Why don't they include the other 4 HBO channels, like plus, family and sign. ?
 

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These movies aren't scheduled with HD in mind. The HD channels mirror the SD channels. The programming is based on what people will watch on the SD channel.
 

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Yes, but even if we were talking about SD channels the SAME complaint would apply. The only difference is you have a bunch of other HBO channels and Showtime channels which I think is how they justify it.
 

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The biggest problem is that these channels mirror the normal HBO and SHO channels.


They should be separately programmed with only HD content. More repeats if that is what it takes.


After all, if there's something on that I really want to see that is in SD, I can always watch it on the SD channel.


The other big problem is that DirecTV and Dish only carry the East coast feeds. Hence, we are missing other viewing opportunities, and those of us on the West cost have the "prime time" programming at 5pm!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Whilst I started this post with a moan about HBO it was only with regard to the rarity of some of their movie showings. Without getting into the OAR issue I think they do a great job in the drive for HDTV.

The thing I am extremely grateful for (and this applies to Showtime as well in this case) is the total lack of logo's and banners during their movies. I used to think it was because they were subscription channels but someone in a recent thread mentioned that Starz do in fact show ‘coming up next’ banners across the screen, so now I’m not so sure. For me, any type of logo or banner showing up during a movie would totally ruin my enjoyment of it. It’s an awful trend that is getting worse on SD channels (MTV even have a changing, flashing logo now to help you keep your attention firmed fixed on it). In the early ‘logo’ days they were at least discrete, by being gray and slightly transparent, but on some channels they are now in bold bright colors which, I for one, cannot help but focus on. I’m sure this is a topic touched upon in previous threads, especially in the plasma section, but here’s my public thanks to HBO and Showtime for keeping their screens clear.
 

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Hear, Hear. Down with logos!


The problem is how do you convince the product marketing people that more people are annoyed by the logo, than are attracted to it. There's no statistics on why someone subscribed to starz (saw a logo on a circuit city tv and I liked the movie so I thought I'd get it.... yeah right) or why they cancelled (I can't stand the logo)


Those marketing people will go on hunches until proven wrong with quantitative data (I was in product marketing for a while so I can talk)
 

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Still think HBO should offer an HD of HBO plus on the West time slot.

Then we get 2 HD channels and you get east and west feeds in the appropriate prime time slots.
 
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