TV And Its Older Entertainment Brother, Movies: An Increasingly Dramatic Bond

TV and movies, two big entertainment platforms, have had some differing performances. In 2009, for example, movie companies had a big year, with record box-office revenue , while broadcast networks, advertising-wise and viewing-wise, went in a downward direction.

Now the broadcast networks are seeing better results in 2010. Will television's older entertainment medium brother, theatrical movies, keep pace? No matter what, both will be well-attached to each other's hips in future years. Films are more dependent than ever on TV as a messaging/commercial platform. 

Movie studios will continue to pay their share and then some during upfront periods, with even bigger premiums -- all to grab key commercial positions in specific shows on specific dates, to insure their one-chance-to-succeed opening weekends.

In 2009, broadcast networks' share of movie dollars for opening-weekend budgets grew to 41%, up from 35% in 2006. Cable TV share went to 28% from 26%. Internet ad spend? Yes, that's growing, too But Internet ads still don't have the quick, broad impact of TV messaging.



The average paid-media budget -- so-called P&A costs - for releases from the six largest studios was $39.5 million, according to the Motion Picture Association of America,.  P&A  means "prints and advertising" of which 90% is advertising. Really big films can spend much more, however -- in the $75 million and up range.

Good news for TV networks: Movie companies will no doubt spend even more on film advertising in the future. The bad? Some of that may come out of DVD budgets destined for TV. Home entertainment release dates are increasingly closer to films' theatrical release dates,  thus lessening the need to remind and message to consumers.

Future years will see movie studios perhaps give TV a greater advantage. Already there are more special promotions -- especially in connection with summer and holiday releases --where bigger TV product placements, including special long-trailer releases, make appearances in and around TV shows.

Even straight-ahead commercial messaging could get a bump. TV networks have long known movie commercials can generally pull in better individual commercial ratings that other kinds of entertainment messaging.

The future TV-movie relationship is destined to be a closer,  perhaps more dramatic, one.

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