1/16/08

Advertisers cool to 'Strike TV' pitch

Writer proposals for the Writers Guild of America's "Strike TV" Internet fund-raiser are due today. Set to launch in February, the online channel will feature original video shows created by working professionals in the TV and Film industry. Funds raised by ad revenue will go toward the Writers Guild Foundation Industry Support Fund, assisting non-WGA members, including IATSE and Teamsters affected by the strike, according to the group's MySpace site, which details how the process will work.

"Strike TV videos will not be about the strike," according to the Web site. "This is a chance for writers to do what they do best--be original and tell stories. These shows will be self-funded and owned by their creators."

WGA members including showrunners, staff writers and screenwriters have expressed interest in participating in Strike TV. "One of the goals of Strike TV is to demonstrate that these kinds of creative ventures can be done on the internet under union jurisdiction," according to the Web site.

Strike TV will use a Web video platform that allows for videos up to 40 minutes in length, although most will likely be 5 to 7 minutes long. Shows will be rolled out in slates, with the number of slates dependent on the number of videos that are actually produced. Strike TV will have its own page on the United Hollywood site, basically a TV guide of all the shows. When you click on a specific show, you'll be taken to that program's Web page. Each show will create and build its own online community.

The Writers Guild of America strike, which began Nov. 5, is against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), a trade organization representing the interests of 397 American film and television producers, over future royalties from online content. Over 12,000 writers have joined the strike.

Another group of striking writers is hoping to launch their own production and distribution company, according to Liz Gannes on the NewTeeVee blog.

Aaron Mendelsohn, writer of the Disney film "Air Bud" and an active WGA member, says he has gotten a group of "A-list" film and TV writers on the team. He's also partnering with online community experts from Silicon Valley and raising "north of $30 million" in venture capital, with the idea of launching a company called Virtual Artists later this year.

Some Web sites are reporting jumps in their numbers since the strike began, which may be indicative of consumers' readiness to further explore online networks as an additional source for entertainment, said Steve Rosenbaum, MTV alum and Magnify.net CEO.

Magnify.net, a peer-driven online video discovery and broadcast channel for Web sites, groups and businesses, is reporting that weekly Web site visits are up 70% versus eight weeks ago. Weekly page views in the same period are up 39.82%.

"While the strike is important to the future of Hollywood and its convergence with Web-based entertainment, consumers are also starting to realize the value of content creation and distribution as well," Rosenbaum said.

(publications.mediapost.com)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read this story twice and still can't see the justification for its headline: "Advertisers Cool To Strike TV Pitch..." Where's that part of the story?

Anonymous said...

Strike TV is a non-starter and no mass marketer / advertiser will want to associate with it. Well, some wealthy leftist might throw some mad money at it for a while like Air America - but probably not beyond this summer, the expected duration of this disaster.

The newspaper guild-authored suck-up stories on the WGA strike are nauseating. This headline puts the matter in perspective and is spot on. I would not bet on ever reading a follow-up or even a post-mortem on this idiotic "Strike TV" brainstorm.

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