Did USA Overpay for ‘Casino Royale’?
December 19, 2006 7:17 PM
NBC Universal-owned, ad-supported cable net USA just won the TV rights for the new James Bond flick, “Casino Royale,” starring Daniel Craig as the new 007. In what was apparently a very spirited bidding war among broadcast and cable nets, USA paid $20 million for a five-year deal, which brings the box office hit—which has grossed $400 million since its theatrical release last month—to the small screen in June 2009.
True, Bond movies always played well on cable. But that was then and this is now. The price seems steep to me, because two years from now, when even more households will have DVRs, who’s gonna sit through an already long movie and endure the endless procession of pods cluttered with ads and promos?
Advertisers could be burned, especially if Nielsen gets its act together—and I assume it will by then—to measure minute-by-minute viewing, including commercials. I, for one, have lost all patience with watching long-form programming on cable in real time. That movie on USA could likely become an evening-long commitment. Count me out.
USA, I predict, will have quite a selling job on Madison Ave. in this new age of viewer control and impatience. How can USA monetize this deal two years from now?