Wednesday, February 26, 2014

'Ripper Street' saved by Amazon

This shows how the economic model of TV is changing.

Ripper Street, a BBC1 drama show that was cancelled by the BBC, has been saved by a deal between the BBC, Amazon and the producer Tiger Aspect.  It will be shown first on Amazon, on demand, and on the BBC a few months later.  

This comes in the wake of Netflix original series, of course, but it's notable I think that this is happening in the UK, for a show that is much less high profile in terms of talent than what Netflix is doing.

There are also parallels with the re-commissioning of Family Guy back in 2004, after DVD sales showed what a money-spinner the show could be.  There's no mention of DVD sales this time - the world has moved on.

The announcement comes on the day that Amazon is launching its combined Prime and Streaming service for £49 a year, so the new economics of TV in this case is linked to streaming, ecommerce and all sorts of loss leading and cross subsidy.

But hurrah for the return of Ripper Street!

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