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

Jun 7, 2012  •  Post A Comment

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

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.


  1. It doesn’t hurt that a weakened economy makes movie-going a rare luxury. Is it that TV is doing so well or that movies are doing so poorly, I wonder.

  2. I believe TV is much better than it ever used to be. Writing is superb (which means I don’t watch reality – unless it is on DIY, HGTV, Speed, or ESPN). When a big screen TV has come so far down in price, you can enjoy your shows or movies with no talking, cell phones, people making you move so they can go to the snack bar, coughing, babies crying and you can pause or rewind at any time. Why would you pay so much to go see a movie. Especially if you have a family – it doesn’t take too many visits to the cinema to pay for a home theater. Besides, what movies have been so great in the last few years. Just a few action adventures that must be watched on huge screens.

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