Your are viewing a read-only archive of the old DiS boards. Please hit the Community button above to engage with the DiS !
starts feb 1st, replacing sky 3 i think?
incredible lineup of shows, and FINALLY Treme on UK TV.
replacing Sky 3? Where am I gonna see Road Wars now?
Is it basically HBO stuff?
but this is channel is the perfect expression of how fucked up our media balance is. britain's only private broadcaster takes the best output of more than 4 different american broadcasters (HBO, AMC, showtime and Syfy at least - can't be bothered to see if there are more yet) and creates a premium drama channel despite never having created any premium drama itself.
Sky is the very definition of a non-productive monopoly. it's a money bottleneck that simply buys up access to material with raw demand (sport, films, and now american drama) and packages it however it chooses. sky atlantic is just sky's attempt to sop up the pseudo-intellectual market. i hope to god that people keep torrenting rather than tethering themselves to sky's entirely unimaginative and unproductive money machine.
i'm not saying sky shouldn't host sky atlantic's programming, i'm saying that by doing so without having any kind of serious drama programme themselves they are just exposing how meaningless and hollow their service is. they don;t contribute, all they do is deliver, and it's only a matter of time before delivery is taken away from them.
which leads us on to torrenting. this isn't a long term system but rather a medium by which the public can put pressure on clueless broadcasters like sky. torrent a show after it's broadcast then buy the DVD when it's released. don't pay sky, pay the people who make shows and your ISP. encourage content developers to distribute by themselves or via online channels that offer a flexible service. that's all you need.
so to conclude: sky doesn't offer original content, it insists you pay for content that you don't want in its pricing model, and the raw progamming it offers is available elsewhere. it's redundant, or rather it's making itself redudant by not offering original content. it's got this huge audience, this huge market with no credible competitors, and it's just letting it atrophy. it's such a colossal waste that a country with such a strong creative business culture should let an organisation so fundamentally lazy run its private television market.
a gang of Somali pirates
because they produce hours and hours of original sports and news programmes every week. I'm not really understanding what your issue with sky is? If you don't like it then get virgin/bt/use pirate bay/whatever.
really counts as 'original content.'
how to hold an opponent off in a game of football by standing on a 4 foot bit of green carpet and sticking his elbows out.
they buy up raw media material - sports coverage, films and foreign programming - that guarantees them an audience, and then they add nothing original too it. it doesn't have to be drama, you can include comedy and 'entertainment' too - sky have achieved next to nothing in any of these fields. they have a virtual monopoly on private television (they dwarf virgin and bt, who run their channels anyway) and yet they've barely created anything for themselves. their best original programming probably comes from sky arts but only because it costs so little to run.
compare this to america where they have a diverse media market with numerous content producers competing to supply customers, and look how much higher the quality of their programming can be. they have a lot of dross but they have the best dramatic and comedic output in the world. it's rare that i argue for a free market system but in this instance it seems blindingly obvious. sky is hoovering up the money that could be going to independent broadcasters. they're smothering the market, ignoring the possibilities for international distribution (why aren't we selling our programmes to america.. oh, we are, but only via the bbc).
anyone can broadcast sport and films and make money - sky do it because they have the investment capital to get it in the first place. sky news is a vanity project and sky arts is too cheap enough to get by without being noticed. other than that sky seems to me to be barren wasteland of opportunity.
i don't have it myself so please feel free to contradict me - has sky ever made a programme that can even get close to the best of british television from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4?
Ross Kemp meeting some Yardies
Ross Kemp meeting some Russian Gangsters
Ross Kemp meeting some Brazilian Gangsters
Ross Kemp meeting some Crips
Need I go on?
as they're on Sky, but I gather their Discworld dramas are very good. I suspect it's very much the exception though.
It was pretty shit
producing large budget television dramas just as it doesn't making films.
They spend around 3-4 times what we (per hour) do on their top dramas.
and have more diversity
particularly when you get into niche genres like scifi or horror there's almost nothing produced over here. Survivors was ok-ish and last two seasons before being cancelled for low ratings. you'd never get something like Battlestar Galactica or Lost produced over here.
quatermass and the pit, doomwatch, black 7, dr who... we're made a lot of good sci-fi television, just not recently, and there's no real reason for that. british tv in the 60's and 70's was were american tv is now, and it's worth remembering that america is going through a golden period of television at the moment - something that wasn't possible 15-20 years ago. the reason is that they've got their funding models right. maybe we can't support as much development as america currently does but sky clearly has a massive revenue stream that it's refusing to focus on drama and comedy and it's inexplicable as to why we're letting them get away with this.
Invasion Earth, The Last Train, Ultraviolet, Survivors - has failed dismally ratings-wise. There doesn't seem to be the market here to sustain them in the prime-time slots they need.
(I guess Doctor Who has been a success but (a) the quality is really variable and (b) it's as much of a kids programme as an adult one.)
The problem with British drama is that the production model - six episodes a year - just feels really inadequate in 2011. You either compress it up so that there's a good amount of development in those six episodes but at the detriment of pace, or decompress it and... well, very little happens.
Of course I'd love more quality British drama, but it doesn't seem as if the big players (BBC, ITV) in the market are forthcoming with it outside of certain models (both their recent big successes, for instance, have been period dramas), and they shunt the imports they do buy into slots that are unsuitable.
I remember when I was heavily into Buffy in the late 90s. Sky showed it, usually uncut, at 8pm. BBC2 showed it, heavily edited, at 6:30pm. Can you blame people for flocking to Sky when the BBC and Channel 4 consistently treat such shows so badly?
aside from having a potential audience of about 1/6th the size of the US, the UK has never taken to multi-channel TV in the same way the US has, and even there most channels are as stuffed full of repeats as ones here.
Syfy only recently started showing original programming outside of Friday/Saturday nights and it's been a complete disaster - they moved Caprica and Stargate Universe from Fridays to Tuesdays so they could show wrestling (?!) on Fridays, and both suffered such ratings declines that they've been swiftly cancelled.
AMC currently has only four or five original programmes. their 2010 run consisted of Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Rubicon (cancelled, low ratings) and The Walking Dead (six episodes only).
HBO and Showtime you can't really compare because they're premium channels that people pay extra for.
you're quite right that their handling of some really decent imports was simply better. i can only remember buffy at the moment but there must have been more i as recall being desperate to get sky.
but things have changed since then: material is accessible more quickly and with more flexibility than a channel can provide so unless they have some creative role in the process - sponsoring the creation of a show effectively - then it's hard to see what the point of a distributor is going to be.
the difficulty is going to be maintaining audience figures and revenue in this more flexible media landscape. you picked out some examples of british sci-fi that have failed to attract attention recently, but you've ignored the fact that the bbc makes a fortune selling dr who and torchwood to the americans. we can sell british science fiction abroad. yes it may not be of the quality of BSG yet, but if we can persuade them to buy that from us then there's no reason that we can't make something better and sell them that. at the end of the day it comes down to ambition and realising that we can compete on an international scale if we look and international viewing figures rather than national one's. this is why it's exciting that the bbc is prepared to think about working with hbo. nothing greats come of it yet but it's the logical way to proceed. why isn't sky doing something similar?
going back to BSG specifically, i think the real feat there was not making it good but rather a case of making it good popular enough to survive. it's practically unique in terms of modern sci-fi, both brit and american. firefly couldn't keep it's funding either and it was far better than survivors which got two series. firefly just didn't find it's audience in time and that's the real challenge. the audience exists internationally - it's just a case of having the time and quality to reach it. it needs ambition and, to return to the thread, where the hell is sky's? they;re so far from being worthy of replacing the bbc it's almost laughable.
(a) the original series aired over and over on PBS for decades now, and (b) the new episodes run on Syfy, ie a specialist network where it'll find an audience more open-minded to it. it's a historic and established brand, yet they're not selling it to NBC or one of the big players.
Survivors, for instance, was pretty decent - well cast, thought out, clearly had money spent on it - but the short episode count buggered it. They shoe-horned in arc plotlines, because everything needs arc plotlines these days, but didn't give them the time to feel like they were naturally developed, and the individual episode plots often fell by the wayside to advance the arc as a result. with a longer episode (say, 13 rather than 6) count it could've been fleshed out and worked.
I'm not suggesting we can't do these things, just that there's no intention of doing any serious investment from any of the big players, so why should Sky - with half the potential audience - give a fig?
(Saying that, Sky put up a large chunk of the money for the original Battlestar miniseries, and possibly season 1, although I can't remember, so they're clearly not adverse to the kind of collaborate ideas you're talking about.)
Its worth pointing out that import shows are still treated badly by terrestrial broadcasters. BBC2 aired all five seasons of The Wire across summer/autum 2009, five nights a week in random timeslots around 11pm. It was a nightmare trying to keep up.
and yes it is the more established brand but torchwood is as popular, if not more so, hence the fact that the next series is go to be co-funded from the states, at least partially set there, and starring mehki phifer and bill pullman alongside captain jack. the company making it are starz entertainment (rubbish name) who made pillars of heaven and party down. they're not a big name but they're credible. it's this kind of groundwork - slightly less than stellar projects done in conjunction with partners across the pond - that will eventually get the interest of the big players and allow people to develop really interesting projects. and it's always the bbc or channel 4, mainly through their film section, who are pushing plans like this rather than sky. both organisations punch about their weight whilst sky does... nothing. yes they bailed out Syfy on BSG series 1, but that was exclusively a financial decision and even that has spectacularly failed to be repeated.
as to survivors, frankly i found it a little dull and i blame it on the writing. it felt as though it was deliberately being kept 'light' for fear of genuinely upsetting an audience. it made a global apocalypse feel sad rather than dramatic or genuinely tragic. i was watching it on iplayer every so often and just didn't worry with the characters enough to keep watching the second series. it just felt like they were all going to be ok eventually.
have some responsibilty as a public service as the bbc does. They don't; they are business to make money.
i seriously hope that sky atlantic does little to boost their subscriptions because it's a shockingly lazy and short-sighted move. i hope the market punishes them accordingly.
i should also mention the fact that i suspect that sky know this, which is why they're subsidising people's broadband usage. why develop content when you can control distribution. but then murdoch's never understood the net...
american TV, show in the timeslots they require but wouldn't get from terrestrial broadcasters who produce most of their own programming themselves
their brand new channel sticks exactly to their decade old template. no consideration for an evolving market at all. they've paid large sums of money for shows that have already aired, are available to buy and download, and they are acting like it's going to revolutionise their network. hell they're even putting adverts in. this doesn't sound like good business to me.
maybe 50% of the country have access to multi-channel pay TV these days, yet BBC1 and ITV1 still garner the bulk of the audience figures.
You're also acting like many an internet technocrat and assuming that the way you and yours peers consume media is the way people outside your demographic do. Most people don't torrent TV shows. Most people don't watch stuff on demand via the internets. Most people don't buy DVD boxsets. The demographic that you and I are part of do in heavy numbers, but outside of us lot the numbers thin out considerably. My mother has had Sky or cable for close on twenty years now, yet the only DVD boxsets she owns are ones that I've bought her as presents.
Yeah, the way people consume televisual media has split across different methods and routes these days, and it'll probably continue down that way in the future, but for now the bulk of people still consume it by sitting on their sofas and watching it through their TVs.
Sky are a smaller player in this than the BBC or ITV or Channel 4. If you want to rag on anyone for not spending their cash money on creating drama that can stand up to, quality and length wise, the top skim of American TV that Sky are taking for this channel, it should be them.
the demographic that it is targeting overlaps massively with the kind of demographic that certainly buys box sets and to lesser extent downloads television. the question is whether the greater exposure offered by this new channel broadens this demographic or whether the venture falters because people have different expectations about how they want to consume these shows. it's far from a guaranteed win for sky.
as to the relevant position of sky in relation to the bbc, as far as i can tell sky took more in revenue in 2010 than the bbc took in license fees in 2009 (couldn't find beeb figures for 2010) - £5912 mill to £4,605 mill. the bbc may have the greater audience share but bskyb is making way, way more per customer. compare that to channel 4 whose total revenue was £906.1mill.
also, from a financial perspective it's worth considering that when sky came to bid on mad men they absolutely obliterated the bbc's offer - increasing there's by more than 25%. the total amount paid isn't known but it's well over £5 mill and possibly closer to £10mill. if you think that the show costs between $2-2.5 mill dollars per episode then that's $30mill per series - £19mill. sky have essentially spent more than a quarter of making the show just on the rights to screen it. equally they've paid £150mill for access to hbo's archive for 5 years. the only profit that will earn them will be in subscription and advertising revenue. it doesn't make sense to me...
there is a place for short-run (2-3 part) drama and we often do that better in the UK. There seems to be a tendancy in the US to make everything fit into the 13/26 week schedules more or less perfectly, even if the content's not necessarily suited to that format.
or maybe we don't have to compete on production values but on the human qualities that have made the british comedies and dramas of the past great - acting, directing and writing. there's a reason why american tv is full of british actors and it's because they don't cost a lot to hire and because they can do realism and professionalism rather than hyperbole. you'd think our producers could so something with the same skills.
the palpably obvious truth is that sky doesn't want to try and compete because it would damage its profit margins. they do very well as it is...
have any relevance here really.
as well as another one of their Discworld adaptations and a series of comedy shorts for Christmas, written by/starring the likes of Stephen Fry, Chris O'Dowd and Julia Davis. All were very well received (and at least two of them also very expensive). Whether they "even get close to the best of British television from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4", I don't know. Stuff like The Office and Father Ted, you mean, that probably wouldn't have been produced if it weren't for the public service remit each of the terrestrial broadcasters is subject to? It doesn't really seem like a very fair comparison.
This month they're going to start showing a couple of other new productions of their own - Mad Dogs, a 'psychological thriller starring Max Beesley, Philip Glenister, John Simm and Marc Warren', and Bedlam, a paranormal drama with... erm... Will Young. They're also currently co-producing a Peter Pan prequel ('Neverland') with Syfy, co-produced the new version of Battlestar Galactica and are apparently now looking into developing their own comedies. So yeah.
that I can't get a Sky dish where I live, and have to have cable instead. I would be happy to pay for this channel, as I do for Sky movies and Sky sports, but the opportunity is denied me.
Fuck Sky, Fuck Virgin Media and Fuck HBO.
And then buy the DVD. Give money to the people who takes risks on original drama not the people who manage the cart that carries it.
where they have a diverse media market. if you're an american then you should absolutely be subscribing to HBO, AMC, Showtime and Syfy because they're the people making the shows. subscribing to sky's aggregate machine doesn't help.
As I can't, I'm just massively fucked off they're taking Mad Men from the BBC. Fuck you all.
but to be expected if you don't have to pay any extra for it.
And as much as Sky is turning HBO shows into a Monopoly, the BBC can hardly complain they're outbid by Sky when they shove the shows into graveyard shifts. The second season of Nurse Jackie, starting this SATURDAY at 11pm, being a prime example.
Specifically about the Sopranos, but more generally about why such excellent US imports get shoved into crap slots.
She said the time of the Sopranos slots was the thing channel 4 received the most regular complaints about. So they decided to move it into a more prime time slot. Across the series its viewing figures actually went down. So they moved it back to where it was before.
It's across the board problem with US imports. They put them in good slots but don't get the viewing figures to justify that and they have to put them into later slots
it was the BBC and Channel 4 that took all the risks in first broadcasting shows that Sky wouldn't touch, such as 24, Mad Men, Sopranos, etc. etc.
I'll be buying the DVDs - no adverts and no money to Murdoch.
This is Sky's first chance since the advent of Sky Movies and Sports to actually grow the number of customers they have by monopolising content.
Incredibly (or so I thought) only 2% of UK households actually have pay TV. Basically, anyone who wants Sky Sports or movies already has access to them.
it's about a 50/50 split between households with pay-TV and those without, surely?
maybee tha 2% iz spowsed to bee movies/sports subscryburs
It's really fucking me off.
sorry huni just tryin to bak u up on the numbers.
Keep it to the Tool Acadamy thread.
:-) Chill bbz.
How the fuck does that work?
Even more so now their commitment to investing in new programmes amounts to nicking all of America's good shit, withdrawing every sport I like from my screen, allowing David Jason a yearly run out as a Pratchett character and giving us ANOTHER FUCKING TALENT SHOW WITH DAVINA.
But it's getting increasingly hard not to want this particular channel.
Still, at least it means I may leave my house more...
I've stopped worrying about the show completely now. It's blatantly going to be awesome.
can wotch footy in the pub or at a grownd. films are cheap enuff on dvd. don't lyk amerikin tv dramaz but eye'd wotch a box set if i did. loooooooool @ sky paying ppl. xx
ps: get bill maher's reel tym plz, moar4. kthxbye. looool xx.
that will be all.
actually it won't.
boardwalk empire looks good also.
but perhaps i may leave out the final episode. seriously never thought it was impossible to cry so hard whilst watching a fictional programme.
and don't get why Sky have to have a channel JUST for American programming. Really not a fan of this fetishisation of all things American. It should go a fair way towards justifying my subcription fee though, so that's cool.
of the non-american stuff that hbo produces like the follow up to summer heights high.
i just wish sky was better that's all. so much potential and so little good done.
because the HBO on demand service on Virgin is going to be yanked (or has been already) unless I grossly misunderstood something, at least they are giving it free on Sky so I can watch it at my mums.
oh well, the first 2 seasons of 30 rock will keep me preoccupied, after all the Skys lack of On Demand service is the reason I went Virgin Media and it's still bobbins so jokes on them... I guess :/
And has just launched a full pull on demand service for people who have sky broadband as well as sky tv.
In addition they have a big on demand library on the computer and Xbox available to all subscribers and I can't believe anybody needs that much of an on demand service when you can watch whatever you want whenever you want via the Internet anyway.
so need all the bandwidth I can get, the on demand library on the Sky Player wasn't that much to write home about. I agree though Skys movie on demand service is brilliant value
but the on demand movie selection is really quite impressive.
Also, it's just a lot easier than faffing around with your computer first and if it's there already and legal why bother downloading?
On a side note, I'd hazard a lot of people still don't really have their media linked well to their TV so watching stuff from the internet is more annoying.
I didn't realise the HBO channel was being pulled from BT Vision as a result (I thought it was still there the other week). It seems silly given they don't show anything recent on there anyway.
We're not living in Canada for fuck's sake.
it's just the broadband gets throttled to 4MB between 5pm - 9pm if I use more then 1.5GB in that time period....
I would imagine if you caned your connection for HD movies and full TV series at the rate you could watch them off on demand services then they'd start to throttle you.
I wouldn't know, however, because I seriously don't have the time to watch enough to make that an issue.
Being totally not indie is so totally indie right now.
got tickets to one of their premieres of Boardwalk Empire. It was at the GFT and I got free fentiman's lemonade and a couple of hours of Buscemi. Pre-tty good. Pre-tty, pre-tty Good.
it's just been moved channel.
The channel is to be renamed 'Pick TV'.
is that Asita is to TV what Brightonb is to music. I reckon if the two fucked we'd get some awful children.
The bookish one; "firstly a) How can you read Murakami? So over rated and b) why are you reading him in English? EVERYONE knows the original Japanese text is far superior. STOP TALKING TO EACH OTHER, THIS IS A CLUB, NOT AN AA MEETING"
The foody; "I grow my own fruit and vegetables and raise and slaughter my own animals. I don't own a fridge, I don't even own a freezer, bitch, cos my dinner is fresh from my backyard. Motherfucking, Tesco-loving commercialised whores!"
I think the foody would be cooler, probably make really nice dinners for his non existent friends. The Bookish one would probably have a really good life, probably become a publishing agent or critic for The Guardian or some really indie web blog or magazine, idk.
is that your imagination goes to some strange places.
and yeah, i got a little carried away and i admitted it. doesn't change the fact that sky is a virtual monopoly making truly eye watering profits and stifling what should be a truly creative industry for britain. i'd love for this not to be true but it is.
finally, fuck off you sneering, judgemental piece of shit. why are you implying that i'm an elitist for wanting sky to deliver a more substantial service for the vast sums of money it makes? you come across like a chippy teenager taking the piss because someone actually has an opinion.
without the BBC we'd have TV the quality of the US. sometimes State Enforcement is a good thing.
are roughly analagous to your complaints (samey, boring, doesn't take any risks) about ATP.
While you can see the licence fee as a TV 'tax', they don't control the fee you pay, have a roughly equal share to ITV in terms of viewing figures, and have no greater say than Sky or ITV on costs within the industry. Even if you do see them as one, they're in no position to abuse it in the way that a commercial operator in most industries can.
Sky control their own pricing and until very recently had an effective monopoly on 45% of households for Pay TV due to no other competitors.
is the BBC *have* a monopoly over the licence fee. Not that they are one, because by definition they're not.
the bbc's distribution model isn't ideal but whilst it maintains an analogue offering there isn't an alternative.
the important thing is how the BBC uses its privileged position in relation to sky and vice versa, and whether Sky has shown any sign that it can justify it's criticism of the BBC by superseding it in terms of service and content.
for all its faults the BBC has produced some of the most unique television ever created, nurtures creative british talent, and bolsters international perception of britain. i don't think sky even comes close to competing.
and how ever many series of My Family whilst simultaneously almost being denied 6 radio.. me and the beeb aren't on good terms at the moment... so I'm just going to say FUCK THE BBC.
Capital letters no less!
but the ADVERTS, i'd forgotten how annoying adverts are on live TV, just watched a DVD instead.