Where’s Chuck?

All due apologies for the second thread of the day, normally we try to give posts the attention it deserves so allow me this interruption in your regular programming, heh.

You may be wondering why you’re unable to stream Chuck 5.2 from either Hulu or NBC.com, well I don’t know the reason why, but I do know that it’s not coming. I’m told that Chuck won’t be showing up in any streaming sites throughout the season, 5.1 being the only exception. Before everyone jumps on NBC and WB, the two companies that gives us Chuck to begin with, let’s instead consider that maybe there’s a reason for this. Something beyond, Chuck, Team Television’s fat kid.

In any case, if you’ll allow a personal opinion from this blogger, this makes it all the more imperative for all of us in the US (especially those with Nielsen boxes) to watch Chuck live.

-Jem

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About Faith

Eternally faith-ful at least as it relates to my beloved Los Angeles Lakers. Yes that's where the username comes from. Other than that self-professed Chuckaholic, Laker blogger and part time internet addict. Ok, full time.
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65 Responses to Where’s Chuck?

  1. atcDave says:

    Just a guess, this may be a bit of an experiment to see if shutting down the streaming sources will help ratings. Do you know if this also applies to iTunes?

  2. joe says:

    Arg! A fiasco of a disaster. That’s a Fiaster! How am I every going to get the quotes right now???

  3. luckygirl says:

    Ugh, now I’m going to have to be super vigilant about not erasing the episodes from my DVR. I don’t like living without a Chuck safety net.(:

  4. Aerox says:

    *whistles an innocuous tune as he gleefully looks at his downloads folder and sees all seasons of Chuck in glorious 720p*

    • joe says:

      Don’t ask, don’t tell, Aerox! 😉

      • Aerox says:

        To be fair, I’d probably watch it on Hulu or something, but every time I try to do so, I get an awesome message that says: NO! YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WATCH THIS! STOP TRYING! GO WATCH VIDEOS FROM YOUR OWN COUNTRY.

        It drives me to take measures such as the one depicted above.

      • Amron says:

        Haha! I have my download folder full of Chuck, too! And I hate that stupid message too. Internet is global, people, let us watch our show!

      • The problem is TV is still regional, live movies used to be. Now movies have international launches, but that wasn’t the case a few years ago. That why DVDs are region encoded.

        I’ve read several articles about TV getting there someday, but it is going to take a while. It also might only come under some undesirable conditions (e.g. Comcast, Disney, CBS, and NewsCorp buying up TV distribution in other countries). There are also advertising issues since unlike movies, which are paid for by tickets, TV is paid for by ads, which are for the most part, local.

        Until that happens, I would expect the Internet blocks to continue. It would be impossible for a distributor like WB to sell a show to international TV markets if a show had been on Hulu for months. NBC only paid for US distribution rights, so nbc.com and Hulu (which is partially owned by NBC) are probably required to put up the blocks.

        On one hand, its not fair but it’s the world we live in, for now. On the other hand, in the US we have to sit through annoying GEICO and car dealership ads to ‘pay’ for our Chuck viewing experience.

        I

      • Amron says:

        I know and I appreciate your “payment” for Chuck. Believe me, if I could, I’ll do the same to help the ratings and all, but I’m not allowed. Instead, I buy the DVD seasons (when they allow me to buy them) and watch it live when they broadcast the show in Warner Channel, but meanwhile, there’s no option but download it. 😦

  5. armysfc says:

    two thoughts on this. first dave said drive up ratings and i agree. if the advertisers pay for a certain rating/share and they don’t get it NBC gives back money. with them making very little or doing it a loss why continue to air it?

    second, from what i have read hulu and other sites don’t generate near the same money as live adds. if the contract called for them to take a loss or minimal profit, it makes sense. in addition i read that the adds on hulu are not controlled by NBC. they only get money if an add is aired that is one of the sponsors of chuck. so it’s possible for an episode of chuck to be shown on hulu and not make a dime in add fees.

    as much as people like the show it is a business and making money is what it’s about. my guess is they don’t get enough downloads or views for it to be profitable.

  6. jason says:

    I read where the last ep prior to the break will be 5×6, and the 5×7 ‘Santa’ ep will run after XMAS. I wonder how low the show can go b4 there are ‘consequences’? My gut says not too much lower and those last 7 shows are in jeapordy, although as long as Chuck finishes shooting, I suspect they will be available sometime, somewhere.

    I welcome any and all attempts at shoring up Friday’s ratings, if it means no Hulu for Chuck, so be it. In the past, I have mocked shows on the same night as Chuck such as The Event or The Cape. But right now, one of our best hopes for a little blip in the ratings, is Grimm’s possible success?

    • atcDave says:

      I know at one point there was talk of a Dec 23 episode which had me frustrated with holiday plans; I’m just as glad to run 5.07 later.

      I’m pretty sure NBC will air the whole season regardless of ratings, but we do have to be prepared for some bouncing around the schedule, and I wouldn’t be surprised by the final episodess being dumped on a Saturday night. We will try to stay on top of schedule changes here, but everyone’s local market may vary (mine’s already running 5.04 at 0135 Saturday morning).

      • jason says:

        Reruns of Whitney were getting .8 in Chuck’s Friday slot, so I don’t know how low before something would have to be done? .6? .5? Chuck 5×1 did .3 as a Saturday rerun, I used to laugh at Harry’s Law Saturday number, I think that was double at .6. I know the no Hulu is not nice, and it is easy to decry those who made the move, but if we are down to no Hulu or no Chuck, which is it?

      • Saturday’s ratings are always so bad, no one puts new programming there anymore (except for college football). Harry’s Law would do better on Saturday because that show skewed older and because it was up against the tougher Monday night competition of Hawaii 5-0 and Castle. Chuck viewers know how to set a DVR.

      • atcDave says:

        Just a couple seasons ago my wife and I were watching Robinson Carusoe on NBC. That got such dreadfully bad ratings they finally dumped the last four episodes on Saturday night. But apart from live sporting events Saturday really is a show graveyard. If Chuck’s ratings drop any further I’m sure NBC will start thinking about replacing it on Fridays. For now, I think Chuck is likely to perform better than re-runs, but not by much. If we complete the run on Friday night I think it will say a lot about NBC’s desire to foster good-will with an activist fan base. But if they really have a more appealing option I wouldn’t be surprised if they find an even worse garbage spot than we currently have (that probably means Saturday). Obviously the next step is just dumping it entirely, in which case we may not see the whole season until it comes out on disc. That might not be a terrible solution, and the discs would likely come out quickly once the show was axed. But I thinking finishing out on Fridays is still the most likely scenario.

  7. John Spear says:

    All of Connecticut lost power on Oct. 29 due to a freak Nor’easter snow storm. I didn’t get power back until Nov. 2. I felt secure in the knowledge I could see Chuck 5.02 on nbc.com. when I got back on-line. No such luck. Chuck is episodic, when I watch 5.03 Fri. night I’ll miss some of the connections. Thanks WB and NBC.
    One avid Yvonne Strahovski and Chuck fan from Connecticut.

    • joe says:

      John, welcome to the discussion. I’m sorry to hear this. My baby brother (yeah, he’s 45) is in Conn. too, but I hear he had power after a day.

      You’d think this decision would be reversible.

    • DKD says:

      If you got power back on November 2nd, doesn’t that mean you could have seen Chuck live since 5.02 aired on November 4th. What’s the problem?

  8. Ernie Davis says:

    I’ll just summarize my extended twitter rant here. I think this is a remarkably bad idea. If the goal is to help the ratings then whoever is behind this needs their head examined. Advertising a final season and making it exclusively available on live TV might have worked in the past, for highly rated shows with long histories and tens of millions of viewers and former viewers as a pool to draw from. It won’t work for Chuck.

    As much as I love the show I don’t kid myself about what it is. It’s a niche show that became a cult hit. At it’s height it drew 8 million viewers for about a season. If the idea is to help ratings that means two things, get new viewers or get past viewers to return. Advertising this as the last season isn’t likely to help get new viewers. Counting on returning viewers to boost the live ratings is a stretch at best.

    If whoever is behind this decision wants an uptick in the ratings he should look seriously at who he is trying to force to watch live. The most tech savy and affluent portion of the audience. Precisely those most likely to know about and have the means to NOT have to watch Chuck live. The 18-49 demo, skewed slightly male and more tech savy than most. And at best there is a pool of 4-5 million former viewers with perhaps 2 million (again, at best) of them in the key demo to draw from. How many of them are likely to watch live? How many already DVR Chuck so they aren’t counted in the live ratings?

    Limiting viewers options isn’t a good idea, especially for a show with a serialised storyline. Those who miss a show or two are far more likely to stop watching live until they can catch up via DVR or Hulu or iTunes. If those aren’t available, well with this the last season and the previous 4 season’s already available on DVD, iTunes and Amazon, it isn’t as if they can’t simply wait for the eventual release of season 5. I think the most likely outcome is that there will be no effect on the ratings, and they’ll end up alienating the core of the fandom that likes their Chuck available when and how they want to watch it.

    • atcDave says:

      Good rant Ernie. I know two viewers who have watched exclusively on-line in the past, neither of them even has access to a DVR. One of them is dedicated enough to try to watch live, the other probably is not. But my guess is for most, it will simply sit on their DVR until they get to it, which may mean Monday!

      Any boost this does give to live views will likely be very small, and as you say, they’re just alienating the audience and ultimately costing themselves money. In the past, I’d been buying both iTunes and Blu-Ray; but if iTunes doesn’t come out with it until the discs are released this season I don’t see much point in that purchase.

    • armysfc says:

      Ernie, very good points and i agree with you. i think it was more the money aspect than the desire to increase ratings. they have been negotiating a new contract for a while and it must not have got done. itunes and hulu know exactly how many down loads or views they get. if NBC wanted to much per episode (from the buyers view) it would not be good business sense to agree to their terms. with DVD sales down 40% from last season and ratings where they are at, i would guess that sales and views are down as well. with itunes for the most part its a one time deal. correct me if i’m wrong but once you down load it you have it for good right? so not much on multiple down loads there.

      i think it’s the same reason they got season 5. WB was willing to give it for cheap because they hope to make it up in syndication later on. my guess it all comes down to money. they could not agree to a new contract that benefited both parties.

      • atcDave says:

        iTunes and Amazon Unbox are different from streaming (Hulu and NBC.com) in that you do own the copy once its downloaded (usually, there is a renting option for movies and some shows). There also is no adverising this way. It is also very slightly more convenient to have the episode in iTunes instead of on disc because you never have to leave your chair to load it up! For me, iTunes versions travel with me everywhere too since I have them on my iPod; that means I can watch any episode of Chuck anytime anywhere, and when I have the cables with me I can show it on any TV when the oportunity arises. I’ve introduced many viewers to the show through iTunes.
        The disc version has different advantages. Extra content is the obvious one. But Blu-Rays also have 1080p which is the highest quality picture there is (iTunes maxes out at 720p via AppleTV, or 480i for the iPod version).

        From a revenue perspective it makes no sense to me to pass on iTunes. You pay for every episode you buy, which certainly generates more income than the advertising would ($2 an episode if I remember correctly). I know premium networks (HBO, Showtime) will sometimes delay iTunes releases until the discs come out. I believe the idea is they’re giving their subscribers first view of new content. Chuck is the only broadcast show I know of that seems to be pursuing a similar path. I’m a little grumpy about it, but if it makes a difference about getting all episodes made and aired its a small sacrifice.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        The thing that upsets me is that this late in the game it just strikes me as sticking it to Chuck fans one last time. After all the support the fans have shown NBC, WB, and the Chuck team you would think they could try and avoid this in the home stretch, AGAIN.

        This is depressing, I’m going back to Thinkling’s post to talk about the Morgansect.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave thanks, thats what i thought. here’s my point. a few years ago i read an article on the profits generated by musics CD’s. i’m guessing it works similar for itunes. after you figure in the cost of the CD, money to the laywers, artisits, production company and all the people who get money from it, the record company made about 1 dollar profit. not much for a ten dollar or more purchase.

        so even if it sells for 2.00 on itunes how much do they make? figure in what they pay to NBC/WB for the episode, they most likely have to pay the actors their percent of the royalties etc. say the total cost is 1.00. and they get 1 million down loads, well its a million. if its less their profit is less, same goes for the lesser cost. it’s also dictated on the number of down loads which can vary im sure. every one gets a slice of the pie. it’s not as simple as saying they sell it for two dollars and it’s all profit, a good chunk of that may already be promised out.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Ernie, i’m not one to back up a network but i think your being overly harsh on NBC. on any other network chuck would have been gone after 2 seasons and definitely after three . NBC gave you 2 or 3 seasons they really didn’t have to. they did many things to keep it on the air. that’s being pretty good to the fans i think.

      • joe says:

        Well, they did that much, Army. And for keeping Chuck on the air for 5 seasons (I’m still presuming) I am grateful.

        But considering the lack of promotional support and tough scheduling all along, they really didn’t do Chuck or the fans too many favors. At least, not as many as they could have. NBC has had many problems in the past decade, starting with bad decisions in the executive suites. Chuck was not one of those, so I’m not sure we know how the show would have fared on another network. I suspect it would have been a flagship show on USA, but at the same time, it would have have had an even lower budget, with less incentive to be creative with what they had.

        Bottom line for the network, it’s been a tough road. I realize that. For the advertisers, not so much, if only for the good will many generated among the regular fans. Where else would those Subway and Sienna spots have been tolerated with such good humor?

        It comes down to an age-old argument. If a show like DWTS is a success, you can have it. I won’t be watching, though, because I’m not too interested in a network’s bottom line. If a show like Firefly is a failure, it’s a shame, but I’ll do what I can to watch and support it while it’s on the air. At some point the network has to appease me too if it doesn’t want to evaporate.

        And sooner or later, all the networks *will* evaporate.

      • atcDave says:

        I think the business model is very different from music. For starters, a season of a TV series runs from 30 to 40 dollars. Since musicians rarely do more than a single album year, a television season is probably the closest parallel, while episodes pair up closer to individual songs. Secondly, the TV show is already being made anyway, so anything that adds to the revenue stream is doing exactly that; adding to the revenue stream. Finally, the contracts and terms of use already exist; the vast majority of television content IS already available at iTunes. There should be little in the way of legal, contractual, or technical obstacles to make any given show available. While various parties have issues with the current rights and fee structures, trying to make a point with one single show seems silly and pointless (I can’t name ANY other show that is not available, or has been jerked around like Chuck has been in the last 5 years). And I think that’s really the bottom line; not making it available on iTunes (and Unbox) seems silly and pointless.
        I also think you’re over-estimating sales by quite a bit. I believe a show like Chuck measures total download sales in the 10s of thousands. Discs still sell a bit better but expect that to change in the years ahead. Certainly that’s a huge part of why S4 disc sales were down, more folks are relying on various download sources. Not making the show available through the electronic outlets sounds to me like an attempt to boost broadcast views, and if the ban continues possibly a way to boost disc sales too. But I think that is ultimately doomed and foolish pursuit. Especially on disc sales, they can save themselves the couple of bucks it costs to stamp and distribute the discs by electronic distribution (between 5-10% of the unit cost).
        Its also possible this situation has nothing to do with anyone’s strategic plan and is simply a matter too many people arguing over details (NBC and WB both to blame, neither particularly wanted this outcome, but in the end neither party cares enough to get it fixed).

      • atcDave says:

        Army I’ll ditto a lot of what Joe said on this. There’s just too many variables to know what would have happened on another network. Another network with more eyeballs on screen might have found more viewers. A network like USA or Fox that have many similar quirky sorts of shows might have had a huge success with Chuck. On the other hand, Fox has a well earned reputation for not having patience with shows that need time to develop and Chuck might have been canned after S1.

        I would agree NBC gave Chuck multiple opportunities in spite of weak ratings. But a lot of those ratings problems had to do with NBC’s peculiar scheduling practices and very little promotion.
        So while we do owe NBC some gratitude for the longevity Chuck had; the “what if” game can be played either way and its not implausible to me to construct a scenario where Chuck could have run for 8 or 9 seasons.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, i know i over estimated the down loads. like you said, tens of thousands. in the scheme of things for a network like NBC 40-100k is chump change, if that high at all. this season it would net them what 520K to 1.3 mil? my bet is still on the profit is not good enough, and not a jab at the fans.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave you could be right on the what if game. i too feel there is enough to keep it on the air for more years, there’s so much more they can do. for what ever reason fans turned away over the last few years. everything that you and joe said is true. as little as i watch TV i notice that not a lot of shows get mid week show promotion.

        again for me it comes down to money. why promote a show that is doing poorly and lose money? just a guess but i don’t think many shows lost viewers over a long period and then had them come roaring back. i’m sure there are cases but it almost never happens. it may not seem fair but that’s the way it is. maybe they didn’t have the time available? maybe they can only run promos where they couldn’t sell ads or the company pulled at the last minute, just a guess.

        as for the part about it being canceled, that’s from the sites that do that stuff all the time. pay attention to what networks do so it’s not my thoughts.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave et al… here are some out takes from 2007 relating to the same thing…

        “It is clear that Apple’s retail pricing strategy for its iTunes service is designed to drive sales of Apple devices at the expense of those who create the content that make these devices worth buying,” NBC’s executive vice president of communications, Cory Shields, said at the time.

        For its part, Apple in a public statement alleged that NBC was seeking to double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99.

        i would guess it’s the same thing all over.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Army, I’m certainly grateful to NBC’s new team for giving Chuck a last season and for telling them in a timely manner. NBC’s previous team however cut a lot of shows that were doing OK because Jay Leno was going to revolutionize primetime. In Chuck’s case they merely effectively cut the budget in half and moved Chuck to a midseason replacement in a timeslot against a ratings monster. They then ceased promotion after a few episodes and waited for the show to die. However the Leno debauckle had left them with a lot of schedule to fill and nothing to fill it with, so they waited till half the writing staff went for other jobs, and then decided that Chuck could stick around for another season ’cause they had nothing else to fill it’s sacrificial timeslot with. Combine that with the late backorders and the old NBC team did a lot to hurt Chuck.

        Chuck lasted as long as it did on NBC because NBC didn’t manage to kill it as effectively as they killed other shows. And again, I’m talking about the former team, not the present one.

        My larger point being that with the new owners and team I thought we were past this sort of thing, whoever is responsible. I’m not saying it is NBC, just that when the new people at NBC took over they seemed to have their act together and I thought things like iTunes and the like might be resolved a little more smoothly.

      • atcDave says:

        Well again army I think the cause and effect on promotion is backwards on what you just said. The vast majority of people I talk to still have never heard of Chuck. That’s a marketing failure that goes all the way back to fall 2007 (starting with the title; “Chuck” is a stupid title). I don’t believe NBC ever wanted a show to fail, but their business practices in the time Chuck ran have been spectacularly inept.

        I think the practice of completely redefining the show every season was a mistake too; it guarantees that every season SOME fans will be put off. And wow did S5 take the cake; between being fired by the government, the Volkoff fortune, Chuck loosing the Intersect, and Morgan getting the Intersect there was something there to annoy almost anyone. (I was surprised after last Friday’s episode my wife made the comment “its still a fun show, but I don’t like the private business part…”)

        I do think a tighter network oversite (USA is known for doing this) could have kept the show runners more focused and provided a more consistant viewing experience over the life of the show (insert appropriate Chuckwin’s law remark here). I expect I’ll be debating the show’s post mortem for many years to come. There’s already such diversity of opinion about the show’s legacy and the relative success of its 5 year run. And its inevitable those opinions will shape many television shows of the future too, so no doubt I’ll want shoot down what I see as erroneous conclusions at every opportunity.

      • atcDave says:

        Also NBC has had a contentious relationship with Apple (and even Hulu which they partly own!) for a long time. Possibly because they run on a smaller profit margin than the other networks do right now; and Cory Shields comments likely reflect that issue, NBC is still trying to recoup expenses even via iTunes, while other networks treat it as bonus money. But regardless of those sentiments, Chuck seems to be the only show that gets the shaft every year. Everything else is on iTunes, seriously, everything.

    • DKD says:

      Keep in mind the rating that the advertisers buy on is the “Commercial 3 rating(C3)”. That means that if you watch on your DVR within 3 days and watch at least some of the ads, you count. It’s not just Live viewers.

      As the licensee for Chuck’s content, NBC can do whatever they want. They may feel that if removing online access can even drive up C3 viewing by even 5%, its a 5% lift in revenue. The online versions have less ads, so they have less revenue.

      Only NBC’s accountants know what they are losing in online ad revenue compared to what they may gain from an increase in ratings.

      If it’s an experiment that doesn’t work, maybe they’ll reconsider. But, businesses have to make business decisions.

      • Big Kev says:

        DKD,
        Thanks very much for the information that you’ve always provided about these things, both here and elsewhere. It’s much appreciated.
        Completely understand that this is a business decision – but what do you think of the timing of it? I could understand if, at some point during S1 or S2, NBC had withdrawn online viewing when the show was popular enough that people might change their viewing habits – or when there would have been some serious gains to be made in going back to advertisers with higher ratings. But to do it now, when hardly anyone is watching, and any gain is going to be negligible – that’s the part that I don’t get. It just seems about 3 years too late to be getting precious over your online viewership. The only thing that makes sense to me is if NBC are using Chuck as a guinea pig, to test the general principle of whether withdrawing online views can drive up ratings – because Chuck’s ratings are so low that it loses little either way.
        Another theory I’ve heard is that WB are driving this decision, because they may have an imminent syndication deal worked out – is there likely to be any truth in that?

      • armysfc says:

        Thanks! that goes with my theory that they don’t make all that much from itunes or hulu.

      • We don’t know the real reasons, but one key difference this year is NBC is majority owned by Comcast. The interesting thing is Chuck is not available with Comcast On-Demand either. In the past it was available for four weeks.

        The problem with the experimentation idea is Chuck is on a different day of the week than last year. That means there is no real control group. Of course business ideas don’t usually use scientific testing principles.

      • armysfc says:

        Jeff very true what you said. what we do know is there were negotiations going on with itunes and hulu. had a contract been reached they would be available, and there not. as for why they aren’t on NBC.com or on demand that’s another story. one we can only guess at.

      • atcDave says:

        The more I hear the more it just sounds like a bureaucratic fubar.

      • DKD says:

        “but what do you think of the timing of it?”

        When in the past did the online version usually appear? Did NBC know about the superlow rating for the second episode prior to when it would have appeared?

      • atcDave says:

        One thought, if this is really on purpose to boost ratings, wouldn’t they have made a bigger deal of “exclusively on your NBC station…” or something? I mean having people go to NBC.com the day after the episode airs only to find then that they can’t get their Chuck that way is just going to tick folks off. And it’s already too late to help the previous day’s airing anyway!

        I still think fubar is the most likely scenario.

      • armysfc says:

        one other thing to interject. the last season of white collar was on hulu BUT NOT until 30 days after the episode aired, they only carried three (or was it 4) episodes at a time. so another network has done something similar. so those fans had to wait a month to see it if they missed it.

      • Good point about the 30-days, Army.

        I thought of another possibility. With most of NBC’s new shows failing so badly again, maybe NBC doesn’t have enough mid-season replacements. One option would be to try to stretch 13 episodes of Chuck into a longer season without paying for additional episodes by actually broadcasting re-runs. However, if they are going to get any kind of ratings for those, they would think they would need to limit online viewer. (I’m sorry, but I barely typed that with a straight face.)

  9. John Spear says:

    I made a mistake on the date I got power back. It wasn’t until nov. 7th. not the 2nd. So my Chuck and Yvonne fix has led to re-viewing 5.01 several times.

    • atcDave says:

      If its any consolation, Bearded Bandit didn’t feature much Sarah anyhow (although two of her scenes were very good). But mosty of what you missed was Morgan acting like a jerk.

      • My count has at least 4 very good scenes: rock climbing, the Verbanski confrontation, the awkward conversation with Casey, and jogging.

        Of course that doesn’t help getting to see it. I agree with Ernie’s twitter rant summary, but this might just be a failed contract negotiation. Hulu was going to be sold and then the owners changed their minds. The Comcast purchase of NBC might also be a contributing factor. If Hulu was trying to negotiate a lower rate during all of this, things could have easily fallen apart.

      • atcDave says:

        Geez I totally forgot the rock climbing. Okay, I guess it was a pretty good Sarah episode…

  10. John Spear says:

    Thanks guys, just keep rubbing it in……kidding, I’ll live, and at least I can look forward to the season 5 DVD’s……sigh.

  11. uplink2 says:

    Well I could go into my view on all this but all I can say is Thank God for Tivo and the MP4 app for it. I can have all of season 5 on my phone with HDMI playback when I’m away from my box.

    • Aerox says:

      [link elided]

      Had to be done 😛

      ed: Sorry to do this, Aerox, but there’s a concern here. We can’t let ourselves be a party to possible piracy, even if that wasn’t intended, so the link was removed – with apologies. We hope you understand.

      • Amron says:

        Hehe! You’re enjoying this, uh?

      • Aerox says:

        To whoever edited: No probs, I figured that it was possible you’d want it deleted, but figured I might try my luck anyway. You don’t have to apologize!

        To Amron: Yes, yes I am 😀

  12. anon says:

    This only encourages people to steal it. At least give people the option of purchasing it.

  13. amyabn says:

    I’m just glad I’m stateside for this season. I was deployed the for chunks of the last two seasons and had to wait for friends to, ahem, “acquire” them and send them to me, or wait until the iTunes situation resolved itself to download and then catch up. I feel very justified, since it is Veteran’s Day, to gripe that it isn’t too cool to deprive my fellow military members and Chuck fans their show while deployed all over the world. Argh.

  14. Ernie Davis says:

    Well I have the perfect object lesson here. I’ve been catching up on Castle. I missed a few episodes a while ago, and fell out of the habit of DVR-ing ’cause I needed the space. Recently, I caught up when seasons 1&2 were a steal on amazon. I rented season 3 on Netflix, and was ready to pick up with season 4 on my DVR when I realized that I forgot to change a default setting on my DVR, and it only saved the last 5 episodes of Castle.

    But castle is available on iTunes and Amazon, and I was perfectly willing to pay for those few episodes I missed. If it weren’t? I’d be waiting for the DVD.

    • I had been buying Castle episodes as I wanted to rewatch them. Castle doesn’t have BluRay, so the HD downloads are the highest quality available. Unfortunately the cost of Castle went up to the normal price. In other words, get them why you can.

      • atcDave says:

        Interesting about Castle Blu-Rays. Burn Notice only did Blu-Rays for S2.

        Obviously they can’t all be class operations like Chuck….

        (BTW, will Jeff being less lost on the show cause you to rethink your screen name?!)

      • Castle was $1 per episode in both SD and HD, meaning download was significantly cheaper than even discounted DVD sets. Now SD is $1.99 and HD is $2.99 on Amazon, which is standard prices.

        Castle is produced by ABC Studios (i.e. Disney). It was on Hulu last year but was not on Comcast OnDemand until this year. It just shows how all of the companies don’t know what to do with all of the new options, so they are all doing different things.

        I’m happy to see Barnes is not lost. Now I’m the only Lost one!

  15. puggsly says:

    These are very rough estimates but from what I can tell, a 1 hour show has about 15 minutes of commercials or 30 30 second spots. A 30 second commercial during prime time TV costs between $100k and $400k depending on viewership. But if you figure it out it is about 20 to 50 cents each. Again give or take. With season pass discounts and the cut Apple gets, I’d guess that the network only gets a little more than $1 per episode for shows on iTunes.

    There is enough guess work in there that I’m sure someone could question my figures but over all it seems like iTunes’s pricing is very close to the advertising revenue. And probably far better than DVD sales (enough to justify the next day distribution).

    Bottom line: I don’t get why anyone would hold back their shows from iTunes when Apple allows them to set prices.

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