Cordkillers 95 – Too Much TV

Should TV networks hold back content from Netflix? Netflix says there’s not enough TV. Time Warner wants to reduce commercials.

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CordKillers: 95 – Too Much TV
Recorded: November 9, 2015
Guest: Lamarr Wilson

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • TV Studios Plan to Cut Back on Netflix, Digital Subscription Sales
  • Time Warner Says It Will Hold Back Shows From Netflix, Other SVOD
  • Time Warner plans to win back cord cutters by showing fewer ads
    – Peter Kafka at ReCode reports TV execs signaling they will stoff selling best stuff to digital services, netflix in particular
    – 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch September changing “business rules”
    – Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes: “[undercut] yourself by having somebody else pay a fraction of the cost and create a better inventory on the various shows you yourself invented.”
    — Also said may retain rights longer delay/forego licensing
    – Discovery CEO David Zaslav: “It’s just not rational that all of us in the content business sold our content to a distributor and have allowed that distributor to gain so much share and offer it without our brands.”
    — May make them ONLY available on cable VOD “Tv Everywhere”
    – Another reason CBS ALL Access got Star Trek
    – Netflix to shareholders last month: “Some studios will choose to license content to SVOD services like Hulu, Amazon – –  – Prime Instant Video and Netflix. Others may not,”
    – Netflix point out show’s creators/producers want to make sure the show has been maximizing money
    – Time Warner networks will cut down commercial inventory
    – HBO, movies and games all strong
    – Turner revenue declined
    – will reduce ad load starting with younger-skewing nets like TruTV
    – From 18-19 minutes all the way to 10-11 per hour
    – Said would have little to no impact on revenue

Signal Intelligence

  • Netflix CEO: Actually, There’s “Not Nearly Enough” TV
  • Netflix’s short episodes helps parents negotiate kids’ bedtime
  • Netflix will produce original Bollywood and anime programs
    – FX CEO John Landgraf over the summer: “simply too much television.”
    – At NYTImes DealBook conf last week Reed Hastings: “He’s wrong. There’s not nearly enough.”
    – Consumer spending on entertainment, which he said has been “growing faster than disposable income for decades.”
    – “We need to go beyond the normal spectrum to get quality,” he said. “I’m hopeful that over time we can make a great Bollywood show, that we can make a great anime show.”
    – Hastings said TV Everywhere that brings network content to multiple devices is what he’s always been “most scared of”
    “The big system has to figure out TV everywhere.”
    – Netflix Notes: Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites series features three short episodes based on Dreamworks’ popular Netflix show, that give kids their final fix of TV for the day in a small dose before bed.

Gear Up

Front Lines

  • Sony’s PlayStation Vue picks up ESPN, Disney, and ABC in huge content deal
    – Disney announced a deal bringing ESPN, the Disney Channel, ABC, and ABC Family to the PlayStation Vue service. All ESPN-related channels will be included. Local ABC affiliates may opt in as well for live programming. No word on when or if it will add to the $50 a month price.
  • Fox Shows On Hulu Will Offer Reduced, Only 30-Second-Long Ad Option
    – Hulu subscribers on tiers that still see ads can choose to have an interactive ad that gets rid of ad breaks in exchange for interacting with one 30-second ad. The ad comes at the beginning but can also be chosen during the first ad break or when the user presses pause. These engagement ads are more expensive than traditional ads and will only be available on current season shows when an advertiser has bought one. They are launching on Web and mobile but will eventually be on all Hulu apps.
  • Vice’s cable channel, Viceland, will launch February 2016
    – Our emailer from last week was right. Vice and A&E announced they will launch the channel Viceland in February 2016. Spike Jonze oversees Gaycation with Ellen Page and Portraits with Marc Maron, as well as versions of its YouTube shows. No waiting period between Web and TV for shows either. It will replace H2 on lineups. 
  • NewsON Brings Your Local News Stations To iOS, Android And Roku
    – NewsOn has launched offering local news for subscribers on iOS, Android, and Roku. Backed by TV stations it will offer local news coverage from 118 stations in 90 markets which NewsON says is about 75% of the US.
  • Tidal has decided to get into original TV shows
    – Music service Tidal will now offer some original TV shows. No Small Talk is a half-hour stand-up comedy show, comprised of five episodes and hosted by Cipha Sounds which premiered November 3rd. And the second season of YouTube series Money & Violence, which is about a group of criminals living in Brooklyn, created by and starring Moise Verneau. That one is on Tidal for a week exclusvie before coming to YouTube.
  • Jon Stewart has signed a four-year contract with HBO
    – HBO announced that Jon Stewart has signed a four-year production deal to focus on short-form digital content meant for HBO Go and HBO Now, with the possibility of making other film and TV programs. Stewart’s job will be to “view current events through his unique prism.” 

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Hi guys,
Coming from a lifelong Trek fan, I understand why the internet exploded over CBS’s decision to bury the new series behind a paywall. I also see CBS’s side, they are taking a huge risk with what will likely be a cast of unknowns, a huge f/x budget and a hard sell to top advertisers.
No matter how good the pilot is, though, I won’t be subscribing to All Access. Not because CBS shouldn’t do what they did, they have every right, but because they don’t offer any other programming that interests me right now. I already own everything Star Trek that I like so I really have no need for the back catalog. I’m only moderately interested in Supergirl (which is also All Access only online) as it’s clearly targeted at a female audience and the whole Kryptonian on TV thing has been done to death.
I do want to watch the series, so I am going to take the Netflix approach. As Tom so eloquently stated, you can subscribe and unsubscribe to these services at will. When the first season is complete, I’ll join All Access for a month and binge watch the whole thing in a weekend. Problem solved and no internet cursing!
Of course, it will end up being really good, or during that month I’ll find something there that I’ll have to watch and I’ll end up subscribing long-term. Then all the CBS executives will hold their pinky up to their mouth and laugh that evil laugh. Those bastards.





I’m a huge Star Trek fan. Not go to conventions and dress up huge, but otherwise yeah. I have no problem paying for CBS All Access to get Star Trek. And it would have be horrible past the second season for me to stop watching. Every Star Trek series is notorious for having a slow first couple of seasons (well except for TOS). Plus, if ST fans don’t show their support, we could lose out on future properties!

Live Long & Prosper




New TV shows need to hit a critical mass before they attain true popularity.  Putting the first season of any TV show behind a paywall that hardly anyone is using yet, is a huge mistake.  Even a brand as big as Star Trek can flounder with such a definitive barrier. 

Yes, Trek fans will be happy to pay and CBS will gain subscribers, but will it be enough?  CBS has a track record of cancelling shows in their first or second season if the views are low.  Everything from the original Flash TV show to The Crazy Ones to Extant.  Will they give Star Trek a chance if too few subscribe?

What about those that decide to wait for the season to end, and binge watch the whole thing in one month and cancel?  Star Trek does not seem like a property that should be used as a test in this way – it has been off the air for too long and has too much to prove.

In the end I believe this experiment will fail even if the show is actually good, as we will once again have to wait another decade for more Star Trek on the small screen.  After all, it was the CBS acquisition of Paramount studios in 2005 that finally spelled the end for Enterprise.”





Star Trek will have to be as good as Star Wars makes the audience feel. If SW doesn’t live up to the hype, there is no hope for ST. Because of the timeline, ST will be a television complement to the massive SW movies, sort of like a pacifier in between the bottle. At this point, we don’t know if the audience viewing ST will be on an intergalactic high or going through space fatigue.

On another note, Childhood’s End is coming up in December which is not soon enough me. I think it was Brian that mentioned how much he loved the book and that convinced me to read it. I loved it enough to seek out my own copy at a local free bookstore (1960 edition). Thanks!

And thank you both for all the hard work you do.





Hi guys,

I’ll put my vote in for not reading Preacher. I read it, and while I didn’t dislike it, it was hardly my favorite book. Not anywhere near my top 10 or even top 20.

It feels oddly dated. When I read it, I assumed it was made in the 80’s because of the art style, but was surprised to find that it came out from 95-00. I guess my other problem is that it’s a Garth Ennis book, and while I don’t mind violence he seems to relish in it and write for it. He seems to like the shock value.

Anyway, there’s more I could say, but it’s not really worth it. I say skip it and read something by Brian K Vaughn instead. Can’t ever go wrong with that 🙂





2015 Winter Movie Draft