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Author Topic: $OTC and Scrabble  (Read 5591 times)

beatlefreak84

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$OTC and Scrabble
« on: July 11, 2003, 09:49:50 PM »
Hello all,

I've decided to once again bring up the matter of the two most-requested shows nowadays for GSN to put back on the air:  $OTC and Scrabble.

Yes, I know you all want them back on (I do too!), but the obvious issue comes up about profitability:  will it make money for GSN?

So, my question is, barring all personal feelings about the shows, would it be a profitable move for GSN to try and play nice with Fremantle and get these shows now or sometime in the future?  Why/why not?

My answer:  Not at the present time because the focus is mainly on original shows.  GSN has already seen plenty of success with originals and I'm sure would like to duplicate that success time and time again.  The originals are still pretty cheap for GSN to produce, they don't have to worry about licensing agreements for most of them, and they all pretty much bring in respectable ratings.  Why spend money on classics which would be a guaranteed hit among game show geeks but may not be among others?  At least you can throw an original concept away and just make a new one, but a classic acquisition is there to stay (except for the G-T library, of course!).

However, I can see that, maybe at some point in the future, that it would be profitable, especially \"Scrabble.\"  Chuck W. is becoming a major factor in GSN's success thus far, and, pending that success continues, why not try to acquire his most popular game show?  I think people watch LC and NS for Chuck since they're not game shows, so I think \"Scrabble\" would please both the Chuck lovers as well as game show lovers.

$OTC, though, I'm not so sure about.  Since Perry's CS isn't airing right now, the name recognition among casual viewers might be a problem.  Also, not many people remember the game so fondly as we do.  Could it be a hit?  Of course; I think it would be a great show to air alongside LMAD or even Perry's CS.  However, while \"Scrabble\" has that irresistible Chuck factor, Sale kind of lacks a name factor.  However, who knows?  It might work as an early afternoon game.

To make a long story short:  They could show potential in the future, but I think \"Scrabble\" will see GSN's airwaves before \"Sale,\" if both even are considered.  The originals are doing well, and GSN has a good thing going with them; why stop?

Anthony
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clemon79

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2003, 10:13:26 PM »
[quote name=\'beatlefreak84\' date=\'Jul 11 2003, 06:49 PM\'] will it make money for GSN? [/quote]
 This'll be real short.

When they decide it WILL, they will buy them.
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CoreyArcher

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2003, 10:33:36 PM »
I'm sure GSN would have a (green) ball promoting Lingo back-to-back with Scrabble. But think of the fun promos they could do with $ale's instant bargains!

I guess I'd agree that $ale might, overall, be a little tougher sell for casual viewers. I, personally, would give my duodenum to see it on the schedule.

Regards,
- CA -

TheInquisitiveOne

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2003, 02:15:24 AM »
Like our good friend Chris L. said, if/when they see it as profitable, they will make an effort to buy them. However, I did catch a post on the GSN boards saying that they actually are making an effort at the Reg Grundy library, and Fremantle is denying them. (I read this, but please take this with a grain of salt.)

Personal feelings aside, the \"Chuck Factor\" would make Scrabble an excellent buy for GSN right now. This will also make good as a complement for \"Lingo,\" since they are both word games and fall in favor with audiences who enjoy them.

$ale, however, can be put in as a compliment to Perry's Card Sharks when they are aired. Also, the familiarity factor will grow with audiences who watch it for a period of time. I forgot all about $ale for 6 years until I read the EOTVGS, volume 3. Since then, I have had an obsession with the show (until I received a 26 episode collection!). My point is, after a few episodes, the familiarity of $ale would kick back in with hardcores and casuals alike.

I am willing to wait until the Grundy collection makes an appearance. The prospects are right for it, in principle.

The Inquisitive One
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clemon79

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2003, 04:41:27 AM »
[quote name=\'TheInquisitiveOne\' date=\'Jul 11 2003, 11:15 PM\'] Personal feelings aside, the "Chuck Factor" would make Scrabble an excellent buy for GSN right now. This will also make good as a complement for "Lingo," since they are both word games and fall in favor with audiences who enjoy them. [/quote]
 I think you're spot on. They complement each other very well, and Scrabble ran long enough that they could air it five days a week. (Unless, of course, they buy 37 episodes and loop them, like folks accuse them of doing with $100,000 Pyramid.)

(The upside to that is that we get to see Keif Ferrendini (and that's as close as I could get after an extensive check on Google for the correct spelling, and THAT poster wasn't even sure, so please don't bother correcting it, because 1) you don't know, and 2) I don't care) play the game that much more often. GIVING the clues today, she won herself another $10K in 30 seconds. If they ever have a Million Dollar Masters tourney on an incarnation of the Pyramid, invite her FIRST.)

Quote
I am willing to wait until the Grundy collection makes an appearance. The prospects are right for it, in principle.

Obviously the finances aren't, though, if the information you reported was accurate. Let's hope one side or the other blinks at some point. :)
Chris Lemon, King Fool, Director of Suck Consolidation
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Matt Ottinger

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2003, 10:44:14 AM »
Quote
Like our good friend Chris L. said, if/when they see it as profitable, they will make an effort to buy them. However, I did catch a post on the GSN boards saying that they actually are making an effort at the Reg Grundy library, and Fremantle is denying them. (I read this, but please take this with a grain of salt.)

Seems odd that Fremantle would simply \"deny\" them outright.  \"We have product that could make some money for us, but we've decided not to sell it to the one and only market that could conceivably exist for it.\"  Strange, even for Fremantle.

Also, consider something else.  A niche channel like GSN lives and dies by the publicity it receives.  In some cases, the publicity is even more important than the actual ratings.  To be perfectly honest, every time recently that they've introduced some \"new\" acquisition of a classic (LMAD, Press Your Luck, early Jokers, even Hollywood Squares), the press noticed but really didn't get all  that worked up.  However, I can't tell you how many different places I saw stories about \"Big Bucks\" or especially \"Naturally Stoned\", which is only going to run for six half-hours.

There are people at GSN who love the old shows every bit as much as we do.  The fact that they continue to devote three hours a night to B&W shows when they could make more money playing infomercials is proof of that.  But possibly for the first time in their existence, GSN is in a position to be a little pickier about the product they choose.  They'd probably love to pick up other packages if the price is right (sorry...) but they're really just about the only game in town if somebody wants to sell them reruns.  So maybe it's not GSN we should be blaming but the rights holders who don't realize that their twenty and thirty-year-old product isn't worth as much money today as they think it is!

Also, remember that we have (at least) TWO Chris L.'s on our forum, Mr. Lemon and Mr. Lambert.  If you are going to use the last name to identify, you're going to have to use the whole name!
This has been another installment of Matt Ottinger's Masters of the Obvious.
Stay tuned for all the obsessive-compulsive fun of Words Have Meanings.

catnap1972

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2003, 01:53:27 PM »
[quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' date=\'Jul 12 2003, 10:44 AM\']
Quote
So maybe it's not GSN we should be blaming but the rights holders who don't realize that their twenty and thirty-year-old product isn't worth as much money today as they think it is!
Precisely.  It almost seems as though some of those compaines would be better off burning/erasing whatever they have from their economic standpoint.  You're not interested in selling to likely the only outlet that would be interested in buying/airing them, so what in the world are you saving them for?

clemon79

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2003, 01:56:02 PM »
[quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' date=\'Jul 12 2003, 07:44 AM\'] Also, remember that we have (at least) TWO Chris L.'s on our forum, Mr. Lemon and Mr. Lambert.  If you are going to use the last name to identify, you're going to have to use the whole name! [/quote]
 Alternately, if one chooses to resurrect a nice bit of ATGS tradition (and we might as well remember the good things and leave the bad to Harvey and his ilk, right?), Mr. Lambert was usually referred to as Chri$ L., and I was referenced without the dollar sign. :)
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SRIV94

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2003, 04:36:40 PM »
[quote name=\'clemon79\' date=\'Jul 12 2003, 12:56 PM\']Alternately, if one chooses to resurrect a nice bit of ATGS tradition (and we might as well remember the good things and leave the bad to Harvey and his ilk, right?), Mr. Lambert was usually referred to as Chri$ L., and I was referenced without the dollar sign. :)[/quote]
Or even more alternately (nice coinage), one could use the \"!\" when referring to Lambert!  It's been done before!  Why am I shouting?!  :)

Doug!
Doug
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"When you see the crawl at the end of the show you will see a group of talented people who will all be moving over to other shows...the cameramen aren't are on that list, but they're not talented people."  John Davidson, TIME MACHINE (4/26/85)

Dbacksfan12

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2003, 08:05:55 PM »
[quote name=\'catnap1972\' date=\'Jul 12 2003, 12:53 PM\'] [quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' date=\'Jul 12 2003, 10:44 AM\']
Quote
So maybe it's not GSN we should be blaming but the rights holders who don't realize that their twenty and thirty-year-old product isn't worth as much money today as they think it is!
Precisely.  It almost seems as though some of those compaines would be better off burning/erasing whatever they have from their economic standpoint.  You're not interested in selling to likely the only outlet that would be interested in buying/airing them, so what in the world are you saving them for? [/quote]
 Isn't this the story with Burt Surgarman (Whew!) and Ralph Andrews?  If so...I think they're mighty foolish....letting the tapes sit does nothing.
--Mark
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PeterMarshallFan

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2003, 08:26:08 PM »
[quote name=\'Dsmith\' date=\'Jul 12 2003, 07:05 PM\'] [quote name=\'catnap1972\' date=\'Jul 12 2003, 12:53 PM\'] [quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' date=\'Jul 12 2003, 10:44 AM\']
Quote
So maybe it's not GSN we should be blaming but the rights holders who don't realize that their twenty and thirty-year-old product isn't worth as much money today as they think it is!
Precisely.  It almost seems as though some of those compaines would be better off burning/erasing whatever they have from their economic standpoint.  You're not interested in selling to likely the only outlet that would be interested in buying/airing them, so what in the world are you saving them for? [/QUOTE]
Isn't this the story with Burt Surgarman (Whew!) and Ralph Andrews?  If so...I think they're mighty foolish....letting the tapes sit does nothing. [/quote]
 I thought it was Ralph Edwards.....isn't most of Andrews' library either destroyed (It Takes Two, Knockout) or unavailable to air (Lingo, Yahtzee)?

zachhoran

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2003, 08:53:33 PM »
The 70s syndie Liar's Club shows should still exist(USA reran the Bill Armstrong episodes in 1986-87), and possibly the SYndicated You Don't Say from 1978. Who knows, GSN may sometime be interested in tracking down the original Lingo series(if it indeed still exists), despite its legal histories.

uncamark

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2003, 06:49:15 PM »
Also, Andrews or whoever has the rest of his shows doesn't own \"Liars' Club\"--last I heard, a company called C3 owns the rights to the series--and Andrews sold the rights to the series to Golden West Television, the then-owner of KTLA, the show's LA home, sometime between the original airing of the series and both the USA repeats and the revival of the series, so he doesn't control that show at all.

tommycharles

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2003, 11:56:40 AM »
[quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' date=\'Jul 12 2003, 09:44 AM\'] Seems odd that Fremantle would simply "deny" them outright.  "We have product that could make some money for us, but we've decided not to sell it to the one and only market that could conceivably exist for it."  Strange, even for Fremantle.

 [/quote]
 That's an interesting point - is there a minimum price to break even for Fremantle, or is it pure profit?

Dan Sadro

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$OTC and Scrabble
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2003, 01:03:36 PM »
[quote name=\'tommycharles\' date=\'Jul 18 2003, 10:56 AM\'] [quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' date=\'Jul 12 2003, 09:44 AM\'] Seems odd that Fremantle would simply "deny" them outright.  "We have product that could make some money for us, but we've decided not to sell it to the one and only market that could conceivably exist for it."  Strange, even for Fremantle.

 [/quote]
That's an interesting point - is there a minimum price to break even for Fremantle, or is it pure profit? [/quote]
 Neither.

The breakeven point would theoretically be the cost of storage and the cost of ownership rights (the perceived loss of value during the given year, called impairment value, which could be nothing) plus the cost of communications between both parties.  However, these are sunk costs, meaning that it is an investment whose cost will not change whether the rights are granted.  So, technically, there are no real costs to Fremantle that are added if GSN got those shows.

However, it's not pure profit, as those expenditures are still lievied against the income from GSN.