It is quite remarkable how the entertainment industry has evolved over the years as time has passed from decade to decade. Films are now at our fingertips with online streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video and Xfinity. Broadcast has also evolved as well as they are even channels that show films on a regular basis like FX or TNT. Going to the movie theater is still a tradition that has not died and is the primary legal source for newly released films. The point I am trying to make is that the evolution of the entertainment industry has changed significantly over the years that going to the movie theater isn’t the only source of enjoying films. There was a time believe or not when cable, film and broadcast were separate and they were competitors. Ted Turner was one of the first people in the industry that brought cable, film and broadcast together during the 1980s (Holt, 1)). Nowadays you see cable, film and broadcast endorsing each other in their own different alternatives to show that they are working together. Examples of how this can be seen with cable is that during commercial break many of the commercials they are showing are for new upcoming films from different entertainment industries. Cable and broadcast channels also show commercials promoting each other. Even films promote cable or broadcast channels with scenes in the film showing those channels in their story plots or any other alternative way. Most cases films help cable is by allowing them to show their films on their channels after they have aired it in theaters and obviously for broadcast they pay them to show their trailers during commercial break.
Jennifer Holt’s Empires of Entertainment tells the story of how markets from different entertainment industries control other markets for their own benefit. In the 1970s broadcast and film industries were both on their heels with the threat of the cable industry on the rise (Holt, 22). During the 1970s “broadcast networks and film studios were not allowed to own one another, and broadcast networks were also prohibited from owning cable systems” (Holt, 22). Today many cable systems promote films and get paid from film studies but in the 1970s this clearly wasn’t the case which is exactly why film studios felt threatened by cable industries. In the mid-1970s cable had finally got a break from the strict policies that have only gotten stricter over that decade (Holt, 22). Once “political roadblocks related to satellite competition were removed would also be removed, changing cable’s outlook and options dramatically” (Holt, 23). Everything from what had made cable industries more threatening to film and broadcast was that “everything from restricting the programs that pay-television networks were allowed to carry, to preventing the use of satellites and limiting licenses was reexamined with the goal to increase competition in the industry” (Holt, 22). Later on the Communications Act of 1934 was amended and then the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 came to pass. Holt mentioned how it “represented a major shift in regulatory policy toward the cable industry vis-avis broadcasters” (Holt, 67). Film studios would continue to work with more cable industries, broadcast networks and then comes the media distributors.
Blockbuster was a big distributor of films and TV shows that were aired on cable networks and they were successful for a long time since 1985 when it was founded until late 2000’s (“BLOCKBUSTER’S ENTERTAINMENT STORE!”). It was mainly popular because it allowed customers to rent movie physical copies instead of paying more money to own it, especially if it’s a film you only buy once. Obviously as said earlier Netflix came around which allowed you to directly obtain physical copies of films or TV shows online or watch them digitally online which was something Blockbuster didn’t have. No one would have to leave their house to rent movies and then before Netflix there was also movies On-Demand from Comcast and Verizon. With all that being said over the last few decades the entertainment industry in all aspects and forms have tended to evolve providing every generation with the best entertainment with new installments.
“BLOCKBUSTER’S ENTERTAINMENT STORE!”. website home page. Wayback Machine. 1996-12-24. Retrieved 2013-11-07. “Blockbuster name, design and related marks are trademarks of Blockbuster Entertainment Inc. © 1987, 1996 Blockbuster Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Developed by Blockbuster Technology – Online Group and Viacom Interactive Services.”
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