Evolution of classic movie channels on basic cable

PF9

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For years, there were multiple cable channels dedicated to showing classic movies.

AMC and what used to be Fox Movie Channel are no longer exclusively classic movie channels. In the former case, it has changed format significantly. The latter is now FXM, and only dedicates half of its schedule to classic movies.

Turner Classic Movies hasn't strayed from its original format too much though. It primarily airs movies from the WB library, given its ownership by WB, but also shows movies from other studios.

Eventually I'd like each of the current major studios to have a sister basic cable channel that shows classic movies from its library.

Here's how it can happen.

First, WB would acquire MGM, which owns Epix and ScreenPix. Because WarnerMedia already owns HBO and Cinemax, MGM's premium movie channels would have to be divested. NBCUniversal would be the buyer, and as part of the deal, HBO's Universal movie rights go to Epix while that channel's MGM movie rights go to HBO. NBCUniversal would then launch a new channel, Epix Vintage, which would air classic movies from the Universal library.

Disney would formally separate FXM Retro into its own 24-hour channel. FXM proper would now show newer movies with ads 24/7. FXM Retro would air classic movies from all Disney brands.

Viacom would launch a new channel called Showtime Machine, which shows classic movies from the Paramount library.

Sony would acquire Lionsgate, and transform Starz Encore Classic into a basic cable channel, Starz Flashback, showing classic movies from the Sony Pictures library.
 

RandomMe

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FOX Movies Portugal shows classics half the time (mostly Westerns from the USA and Italy). I know that because he watches it a lot. But a true classic movie channel is what we need.
 

themidnightlore

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In Italy, TCM never existed (and that was sad).
The closest thing we got were the early months of Cine Sony Italy, there was a good focus on classic stuff.
 

PF9

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I'm not sure I would see Lionsgate becoming part of Sony.

Well, Sony might desire Lionsgate because they own Starz, which holds first-run rights to Sony Pictures films. By acquiring Lionsgate, Sony would ensure its movies remain on Starz forever. Sony would also try and move Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment features from Epix and HBO, respectively, to Starz to consolidate all its film output on one channel.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Well, Sony might desire Lionsgate because they own Starz, which holds first-run rights to Sony Pictures films. By acquiring Lionsgate, Sony would ensure its movies remain on Starz forever. Sony would also try and move Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment features from Epix and HBO, respectively, to Starz to consolidate all its film output on one channel.
But they already their own film channel and I don't even see them buying Lionsgate at all. Are you forgetting that Lionsgate is partly owned by Discovery? Also, the Sony Movie Channel could just acquire the first-run rights to their films from Starz than having Sony acquiring Lionsgate.
 

PF9

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Sony Movie Channel isn't that big. If anything it might be rebranded as a Starz channel. And Discovery could end up with NBCUniversal.
 

harry580

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well in the uk theres sony movies classic and sony movies action channels and sony movies, also if anything, nbcuniversal starts up a movie channel named debut and sony buys epix from mgm if mgm gets bought by warnermedia
 

Dantheman

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I remember when A&E lived up to its name, and showed classy, arty movies from time to time. I first saw THX-1138 on there, stupefied that the guy who made Star Wars made this movie about bald, drugged-up people in a totalitarian future patrolled by robot policemen carrying long cattle prod-like instruments.

I miss the days of basic cable like that.
 

the greenman

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USA actually used to show interesting films often late at night and weekends. Between USA "UP ALL NIGHT" you got a bunch of video store movies, and "NIGHT FLIGHT" which was extremely underground.

First time seeing "Black Cat" and "Reefer Madness".

Sent from my LM-Q730 using Tapatalk
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Sony Movie Channel isn't that big. If anything it might be rebranded as a Starz channel. And Discovery could end up with NBCUniversal.
So? Still doesn't mean that Sony should buy Lionsgate and I think @lowell said on the Viacom CBS merger thread that Sony is more likely to buy Viacom CBS and that there is a good chance of a Lionsgate/Discovery merger in which Discovery would buy the remaining 97% stake of Lionsgate they do not own.

All you do in your posts is just wishful thinking.
 

PF9

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Read my sig. It clearly states if you don't like what I say, don't reply.

So from here on out, silence is golden.

Bigger upsets in media consolidation have occurred.

When the live action DreamWorks was put up for sale in 2005, Universal, which already distributed DreamWorks films on home video and in international theaters, was considered the lead candidate to buy them.

But out of nowhere, Paramount swooped in and bought DreamWorks.

Needless to say, this marriage lasted only a few years. DreamWorks was re-established as an independent company in 2008, and since 2011, Paramount has only distributed 4 live action DreamWorks films, a fifth was sent to Netflix because of the pandemic.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Read my sig. It clearly states if you don't like what I say, don't reply.

So from here on out, silence is golden.
So? It doesn't stop me from saying that you always do wishful thinking in most of your posts.
 

lowell

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Read my sig. It clearly states if you don't like what I say, don't reply.

So from here on out, silence is golden.

Bigger upsets in media consolidation have occurred.

When the live action DreamWorks was put up for sale in 2005, Universal, which already distributed DreamWorks films on home video and in international theaters, was considered the lead candidate to buy them.

But out of nowhere, Paramount swooped in and bought DreamWorks.

Needless to say, this marriage lasted only a few years. DreamWorks was re-established as an independent company in 2008, and since 2011, Paramount has only distributed 4 live action DreamWorks films, a fifth was sent to Netflix because of the pandemic.
I mean, strategically, Showtime might be more desired by Sony so they could be interested in ViacomCBS for that.

In the terms of the premium channels groups, the rank of popularity is 1. HBO, 2. Showtime, 3. Starz, 4. Epix.

Either way, Sony films can be moved to run on Showtime (once the Starz agreement expire) and another studio could run their films on Starz (just get the entirety of the Lionsgate library from HBO onto the network once their agreement expire), why would you dismiss the 2nd popular premium network for the 3rd one, just because they already hold rights on your studio films?

Plus, Sony would likely be interested in ViacomCBS, not just because of Showtime but also for everything else like CBS, the brands of the cable networks (Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, TV Land, etc.), Paramount, Simon & Schuster, etc.

The Sony Movie Channel would then be Sony-ViacomCBS's TCM-style channel showing Sony and Paramount films and yes, the defunct CBS Films's library. That would be a major boon to Sony at the end of the day in likely getting more TV providers to carry the network as much as TCM and FXM gets these days.

As for Starz, if Discovery gets together with Lionsgate through the push of John Malone and his company Liberty Global, I can see its streaming service being bundled with the upcoming Discovery service about to come all over the world.

And even then, a combined Discovery-Lionsgate can still be highly sought after by Comcast to expand NBCUniversal, Sky, and Peacock itself. Starz would collaborate with Sky's premium prestige TV production operations.

I'm going to say MGM might buy out Samuel Goldwyn Films (not the one they previously bought in 1997, but the current one) to expand itself since SGF's output is similar to Searchlight and Focus Features that MGM doesn't really have under their wing and since they only have the post-1986 library. Plus, the founder has passed away in 2015 and the two companies have been partners recently on some productions.

In an AT&T (once they paid off their debt entirely) buyout of a merged MGM-Samuel Goldwyn Films company, I don't think they would have to leave Epix if instead Epix could be integrated into HBO and its subscriber base into Max.

I mean, if the HBO channels still exist into the future, I can see the main Epix 1 and 2 channels be taken out but the Hits and Drive-In ones could stay as HBO channels. ScreenPix would likely fold into Cinemax if it still remains with Westerns and Voices staying as Cinemax genre-specific channels.

On the online side with Epix HD and Now, that's likely to be dismantled if all Epix subscribers end up being brought into Max.

On the content production side, Epix's operations would be integrated into HBO's production team, expanding its capabilities.

Because during the pre-Epix days, the industry was already used to competition between HBO, Showtime, and Starz. I don't think Epix has that much of popularity so it can just be grouped into HBO at the end of the day.
 

PF9

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In launching their classic movie channels, I feel it would be easier for Paramount, Universal, and Sony (in their case, rebrand and move from premium to basic cable) to incorporate well-known brand names into these channels rather than making a big risk and using a whole new brand name for these channels.

Under my proposals, Paramount would have the Showtime brand, Universal the Epix brand, and Sony the Starz brand. Even though these channels incorporate the names of premium movie channels, they would be basic cable in an attempt to better compete with WB's TCM and Disney's FXM Retro.

I could easily see Showtime Machine launching with a broadcast of My Fair Lady, a film Paramount inherited from CBS, to which the rights reverted from original producers Warner Bros. in 1971, as per an agreement between CBS and WB (the basis for the initials of today's CW network co-owned by their parent companies, the first time Viacom and WarnerMedia have co-owned a TV network together since what was then Time Warner sold their share of Comedy Central to Viacom in 2003; WarnerMedia uses TBS as their comedy network). While we're at it, Paramount should remake My Fair Lady.

And with each studio launching their own classic movie channel on basic cable, TCM would cease airing movies from non-WB major studios. It could then tap deeper into the WB vaults, increasing the amount of WB-owned films that are not part of the Turner sub-library (including movies inherited from Lorimar and National General), as well as MGM (the films it currently owns) once it and SGF (the latter rebranded as United Artists, retiring the Goldwyn name from film for good) are acquired simultaneously by WB.
 
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lowell

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In launching their classic movie channels, I feel it would be easier for Paramount, Universal, and Sony (in their case, rebrand and move from premium to basic cable) to incorporate well-known brand names into these channels rather than making a big risk and using a whole new brand name for these channels.

Under my proposals, Paramount would have the Showtime brand, Universal the Epix brand, and Sony the Starz brand. Even though these channels incorporate the names of premium movie channels, they would be basic cable in an attempt to better compete with WB's TCM and Disney's FXM Retro.

I could easily see Showtime Machine launching with a broadcast of My Fair Lady, a film Paramount inherited from CBS, to which the rights reverted from original producers Warner Bros. in 1971, as per an agreement between CBS and WB (the basis for the initials of today's CW network co-owned by their parent companies, the first time Viacom and WarnerMedia have co-owned a TV network together since what was then Time Warner sold their share of Comedy Central to Viacom in 2003; WarnerMedia uses TBS as their comedy network). While we're at it, Paramount should remake My Fair Lady.

And with each studio launching their own classic movie channel on basic cable, TCM would cease airing movies from non-WB major studios. It could then tap deeper into the WB vaults, increasing the amount of WB-owned films that are not part of the Turner sub-library (including movies inherited from Lorimar and National General), as well as MGM (the films it currently owns) once it and SGF (the latter rebranded as United Artists, retiring the Goldwyn name from film for good) are acquired simultaneously by WB.
Nah, but Starz is more popular than Epix. I can see Universal films jumping to Starz from HBO much more likelier outside of a Comcast acquisition already due to an agreement between Comcast and Lionsgate last year:


I mean, I know you have specific preferences for your predictions but I also follow up on what current developments happen in Hollywood to make some of mine.

Showtime's more popular than Starz, that's why I can see Sony jumping at buying ViacomCBS if they get the opportunity to do so, it fits in line with how CBS, Paramount, the cable channel brands are also popular.

Plus, HBO and Showtime have existed overall longer than Starz and Epix, so the former have had more time to build their base of subscribers than the latter despite multiple company reorganizations over the decades.

Agree that in a MGM-SGF acquisition by AT&T, TCM would expand further in airing more of the film library WarnerMedia owns but they wouldn't leave out the opportunity to air movies from the Criterion Collection, that's why a lot of those films are already on Max right now.
 

PF9

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Still, never underestimate the power of brand equity. I learned that the hard way when I suggested TCM be renamed Warner Classic Movies.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Plus, HBO and Showtime have existed overall longer than Starz and Epix, so the former have had more time to build their base of subscribers than the latter despite multiple company reorganizations over the decades.
What about Cinemax and The Movie Channel?
 

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