Pay TV a good business to be in when economic times falter

Despite a down (some would say very down) economy, the business of making money selling television is doing well. Thriving even, according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter.

"It's a cheap form of entertainment, a lot cheaper than taking your family to the movies," said Deana Myers, senior analyst at SNL Kagan in the story.

That's why there's a battle going on right now between movie theater owners and studios and the cable industry over how soon movies come to cable. If they get there sooner, the theater owners think, people won't go to the theaters to see them. There's also the situation of movies going online, which doesn't necessarily benefit the monthly subscription model and changes the way pay networks buy products from the studios.

Overall, though, monthly subscription TV is making hay in a down economy because it makes financial sense, said Starz Entertainment President-COO Bill Myers. "If people pay 20, 30 bucks for one film versus getting a whole month of content for $15, that's a much different experience." Starz, incidentally, recently locked up a deal with Comcast.

Of course, pay TV is different than cable TV. Cable TV has not been very good to some, like Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen, who has dropped on of the Forbes list of billionaires all the way down to 37th place "in part due to failed investments, especially at cable company Charter Communications," said a story in the Puget Sound Business Journal. Ouch!

For more:
- the Hollywood Reporter has this story
- Puget Sound Business Journal has this

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