There was an interesting discussion on the radio about how the major sports are moving toward deals with streaming platforms because that is were the money is. The franchises feel that having things like ESPN+ Amazon Prime and other providers carry their games will be good for them long term- at least until they can work out a model to control all the viewership themselves.
What I found interesting was that instead of completely siding with the NHL who recently signed a deal with ESPN and the NFL who inked a deal with Amazon and is looking to ink deals with CBS's service and others, the hosts took a stand back and see approach. They understood that the big sports leagues are looking to corner the market but at the same time they were aware that they maybe cutting off their noses to spite their faces.
In listening to the sports guys talk I was kind of shocked that the talk shifted from sports to the lessons of the movie streaming wars. Specifically they discussed the battles that Prime, Netflix, Disney +, Hulu, Apple+ and others are having trying to get viewers. While Prime has the backing of Amazon which most people use anyway, the other services are battling to retain viewers. As the radio guys said people are constantly shifting their streaming services around depending upon what is new on that particular service.
While everyone seems to be cutting the cord to cable because it is expensive for channels you don't watch, the truth of the matter is the cost of the streaming services when added together is a lot more than cable. Everyone I know is shifting the services on a monthly basis because they drop things when the new stuff runs out. The only thing that seems to stay right now is that the Marvel Zombies are sticking with Disney+ because they have a new show a week. Even before Covid made money tight everyone I know was doing the streaming cha cha cutting services when seasons of shows ended to pick up others on other services in order to save money.
The radio guys wondered how is this going to effect the NHL, NFL MLB and others who right now are partnering with streaming services, but who ideally would love to be the only place everyone had to go to so they could keep all of the money. Are people going to be be willing to pay big bucks for access to the games? What is going to happen in the off season?
That last question is important since if you've ever watched MLB or the NFL's cable stations in the off season the you find it's either old games or programming only hardcore fans will care about. Will they get anyone to use their app in the off season or are people just going to tune out and close their accounts?
No one seems to know and the indication on the radio was that the off season question was what was holding off the leagues from just doing it themselves.
I don't have an answer but I do know that if sports start to put more and more behind paywalls I will simply watch less and less. I enjoy the various sports but there is only so much I can pay for.
Besides my interest in many sports, especially the NFL is waning thanks to the increased discussion of gambling. I simply don't wager and if I did I would never care enough to listen to all of the possible bets the sports shows and TV announcers go on about.
There was some talk on Twitter as SXSW started wondering if anyone other than the press and industry was watching the movies since the chatter on social media seemed to be minimal.
While I have not been on top of every festival that has been happening lately I have been staggering through a lot of fests of various sizes and I do have to say that the SXSW chatter that I’m running across is specifically industry related. I am not noticing people outside of that talking about it. For example I'm interacting with more people about Cinequest which only started yesterday then the whole of the last week of SXSW.
On the other hand I am getting a lot of hits for the few films I am covering. But then again if I cover a fest the reviews do get traffic.(I have a reputation of covering festivals and my numbers jump for fests)
I know part of the problem with SXSW is that you can’t ala carte the fest. As I learned on Twitter you either paid 300 bucks to see it all or you saw nothing. Additionally I found out that the cost of attending is normally 1500 bucks so it is not a fest you do casually. The only people I know attending the festival are either press or programmers for other festivals.
I suspect that I’m going to get into trouble here but the cost of SXSW is insane. No other fest is that expensive just to step in the door. Any fests that I ran across in the last year where you had to buy it all was only a nominal fee (10 to 40 dollars). And truth be told outside of a few fests you always could buy individual movies.
As several people pointed out on Twitter where SXSW seems to be happening in a vacuum, other recent festivals such as Sundance was a social media bonanza with people across the net coming together to really talk about the films.
The Oscar Nominations are out and to me they are a big yawn.
Lets face it last year was not an exciting year. While there were some truly great films, most of the ones I really liked were not nominated. Indeed the best selections of nominees are the Supporting Acting Awards and the Animated Features. The rest are just sort of there.
I am very shocked that ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI was largely shut out, not because there was a lot of talk about it but because it really is that good. I am also heartbroken that the Small Axe films got no nominations. And I am horrified that Delroy Lindo was not in the running (what a travesty)
Ultimately I won't care about at happens other than a few awards- so the night of the awards I'll be free for mahjong or whatever if you want to play.
Last week I was bemoaning how life had gotten in the way of my really covering things for Unseen. I realize that that is only partly true. The other part of that is that outside of a film here or there a lot of the films over the last few months have been bland.
Yes, there have been great ones but too many have been the sort of thing that I would have been fine seeing on TV or in the movies in a situation where I didn't have to cover them.
I was looking at one film on this past Monday and I realized that there was no real way I could cover the film in more than a line that said Yea its good. I desperately wanted to steal Hubert Vigilla's line of "Yea, that was a thing" but I didn't think the festival or the filmmaker would have liked it much.
More exciting films need to come out or I am going to die a slow death of ennui.
For those wondering I am not ignoring the Snyder Cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE. I have not seen it yet- I have to have a tooth pulled this week and will be watching it afterward. Additionally I will have a piece on superheroes and the movies running next weekend in this slot. I would have posted it today but it is still being worked and reworked as this posts.