Why Television, Not Film, Is Driving Profits at Media Conglomerates TheWrap

The media landscape has changed dramatically, with television now driving profits at media conglomerates, a far cry from the past, reports

An analysis of the 2011 annual reports of five top media companies shows that TV divisions created a combined $22 billion in profit while the film divisions earned just $2.51 billion, the story notes.

“I remember when international buyers had to be forced to take TV product, and they only wanted movies -- now it's the other way around,” said Jeff Sagansky, former president of CBS Entertainment and a former senior executive at Sony.

Television can reliably generate half of a company's revenue and as much as 80% of its operating income, the piece points out.

The reasons for the shift include advertising sales and merchandising, the story says.

"[T]he increase in the number of cable networks and video streaming services has created fresh opportunities to leverage hit programming through syndication. Plus, content companies like Disney and News Corp. are adept at extracting retransmission fees for the right to carry their channels from cable providers," the story notes.