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Old September 7 2013, 04:28 PM   #31
Jan
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Snatcher42 wrote: View Post
Because lets face it, streaming is the future of television. As for cable and network, Kosh said it best: "they are a dying people. We should let them pass."
And so will B5 fandom be a dying people if we don't get [off our encounter-suited butts] together and do SOMEthing.

Look at it this way. There are *lots* of channels available in every market, and probably 5 or 10 or more of them might be reasonable candidates for rerunning Babylon 5. They don't have to be low on the dial, they just need to show it where people channel surfing (which I don't think will ever go out of style) can find it. THEN if we also get it up on Netflix or Hulu or some other streaming site, they can use that to catch up once their interest is piqued.

For now, B5 isn't in reruns on television anywhere in the world as far as I've been able to find out but all of 26 episodes are streaming on WBs own site so it seems likely that they might be more inclined to let it go back on television.

For an indication of just exactly the mindset we're dealing with, check out this panel from the Phoenix Comicon 'Fandom Endures' Panel. From about 42:54 to about 50:25, JMS talks about why B5 isn't on TV or streaming. I think we can overcome that if we can just show WB that there's money to be made.

So the question is...who's willing to *do* something? "We must create the future, or others will do it for us."

Jan
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Old September 7 2013, 07:31 PM   #32
Stone_Cold_Sisko
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

The fact is if you want your show to have mindshare and build an audience over time in the modern world, you need to get it on Netflix Instant.

Period. (or at the very least, on a couple of competitors, a la Hulu and Amazon Instant, but I think the buzz is with Netflix)

The only place B5 streams is a season and a half... ON WB.COM?

Excuse me while I burst out laughing at that ridiculousness.

Gee what bout the gazillion of people who watch Netflix on their TVs, X-Boxes, PS3s, Chromecasts, tablets, and phones?

It's 2013. Whoever is handling digital distribution (Warners?) needs to get off their ass into modern times.

B5 is an example of a show that is probably not making the studio much money at the moment - maybe lingering DVD set sales, that's it. It's the exact kind of niche show that you make a fair deal with Netflix to put on their service. New fans regularly discover shows like Firefly and Arrested Development via Netflix online.

this notion is hard to get enthusiastic about: "only about getting Babylon 5 back on television in reruns for now...perhaps with a side order of getting it on streaming sites, later". Any campaign should be focused on "getting Babylon 5 on Netflix" first.
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Old September 7 2013, 08:07 PM   #33
Jan
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Stone_Cold_Sisko wrote: View Post
this notion is hard to get enthusiastic about: "only about getting Babylon 5 back on television in reruns for now...perhaps with a side order of getting it on streaming sites, later". Any campaign should be focused on "getting Babylon 5 on Netflix" first.
To explain further the thought behind this...there are any number of TV channels in every market that might be good candidates to show Babylon 5. If we can get a bunch of those showing it so that potential new viewers can run across it while channel surfing, they're more likely to go looking for more...on Netflix or Hulu or other streaming sites.

There are far fewer streaming sites. And any of them who want to show B5 would be in competition with those 26 episodes the WB is showing so WB isn't likely to offer it to them (and in fact, it used to be on Netflix but got pulled a while back). But if plenty of fans go searching for it, they're (the streaming services) likely to go asking for it. And again, the surest way to get lots of people looking for it is to grow the potential viewer base by getting it on TV.

JMS said that fans need to get organized and get loud. Everybody can run around in different directions if they want but I think it would be counter-productive. This needs to be a long-term strategy, not just one intense push if we're going to get WB to listen.

Jan

Last edited by Jan; September 7 2013 at 08:18 PM.
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Old September 8 2013, 12:13 AM   #34
Pilot Ace
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

I don't know anyone who channel surfs anymore. A growing number don't even have cable/dish--myself included. Pretty much all of them that still do watch TV by DVR. They already know what they want to watch at any given time.

These days, I don't think Babylon 5 randomly appearing on television stations will bring any significant amount of new fans... Streaming sites seem like a better route to me too, but I do see the difficulties with that.
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Old September 8 2013, 12:47 AM   #35
Kegg
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Pilot Ace wrote: View Post
Streaming sites seem like a better route to me too, but I do see the difficulties with that.
Streaming sites are obviously good for another reason: Babylon 5 is a very serialized show. That actually makes it an ideal candidate for streaming as viewers could watch it sequentially and in order.
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Old September 8 2013, 01:09 AM   #36
Kelthaz
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Reverend wrote: View Post
I could care less about how wobbly the sets looked, so long as the story and characters were strong.
It doesn't bother you because you're already a fan. No new people are going to stumble across Babylon 5 in 2013+ while channel surfing and stick with the entire crap first season to become fans. And that's assuming they don't catch a random episode out of order and have no idea what's going on. It's not going to happen. Let it die.
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Old September 8 2013, 01:12 AM   #37
dansigal
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

The vast vast vast vast majority of people watch tv through network television and cable. We may be slowly heading towards a day where streaming tv overtakes the standard way of watching, especially as technology gets better, and things like the new chromecast become more prevelant, but we are no where close to that being the norm right now. I think a lot of younger people's perceptions are skewed because they can honestly say things like "most of my friends don't even have cable" or "I dont know anyone who channel surfs anymore" because for them its true. But that's because people tend to associate with people like themselves, so their experiences seem the norm, but we're still a ways away. Approximately 25 million people watched the NFL premiere on Thursday night, streaming audiences are nothing close to that right now, they just aren't.

Getting B5 on Netflix would be a GREAT thing, but getting back on tv is equally, if not more important right now if you want to drum up interest.
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Old September 8 2013, 01:13 AM   #38
FPAlpha
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Snatcher42 wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
I like the series, and wish it would receive an upgrade to HD (which is probably the most damaging factor to its current and future fate in syndication)
That's a very good point. Even if it was picked up for syndication, would it gain a significant number of viewers in its dated state? This isn't about what we think of the show, but about the initial impression a first timer might have.

But an HD upgrade isn't happening, so I wonder if our efforts might be better focused on streaming sites like Netflix? That seems like the perfect venue for older shows, especially ones that lend themselves to binge viewing like B5.
That's what i was wondering too. Some months ago i put in a DVD of my Friends 10 season box and it looked absolutely horrible on my new HD big screen TV.

How does B5 look on such a TV for the people who own the DVDs? Is the upscaling feature of modern BR players enough to clear up the picture and make it watchable?
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Old September 8 2013, 01:28 AM   #39
Pilot Ace
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

dansigal wrote: View Post
The vast vast vast vast majority of people watch tv through network television and cable. We may be slowly heading towards a day where streaming tv overtakes the standard way of watching, especially as technology gets better, and things like the new chromecast become more prevelant, but we are no where close to that being the norm right now. I think a lot of younger people's perceptions are skewed because they can honestly say things like "most of my friends don't even have cable" or "I dont know anyone who channel surfs anymore" because for them its true. But that's because people tend to associate with people like themselves, so their experiences seem the norm, but we're still a ways away. Approximately 25 million people watched the NFL premiere on Thursday night, streaming audiences are nothing close to that right now, they just aren't.

Getting B5 on Netflix would be a GREAT thing, but getting back on tv is equally, if not more important right now if you want to drum up interest.
If the goal of this #freebabylon5 thing is to cross-over the NFL audience/average viewer into watching a 10+ year old sci-fi show... Then I suggest you prepare for failure.

The vast vast vast majority of the TV audience wants to watch pregnant teens and singing competitions. They have no interest in a 10+ year old, serialized sci-fi show. The only successful sci-fi with the vast vast vast majority of audiences are the wizz-bang explosion fests like Star Trek Into Darkness.

I would love if there was a new boom in Babylon 5 fandom to justify more product. I would definitely try that product just like I bought The Lost Tales. But, this seems ill-conceived, unfortunately.

Kegg wrote: View Post
Pilot Ace wrote: View Post
Streaming sites seem like a better route to me too, but I do see the difficulties with that.
Streaming sites are obviously good for another reason: Babylon 5 is a very serialized show. That actually makes it an ideal candidate for streaming as viewers could watch it sequentially and in order.
This is also a fantastic point.
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Old September 8 2013, 03:55 AM   #40
Snatcher42
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Jan wrote: View Post
If we can get a bunch of those showing it so that potential new viewers can run across it while channel surfing, they're more likely to go looking for more...on Netflix or Hulu or other streaming sites.
I think that's underestimating the ability of Netflix to attract new viewers in the first place. For many, browsing their Netflix recommendations is the new channel surfing ("Oh you liked Battlestar Galactica? Check out Babylon 5!").

Don't get me wrong, I think it would be great to get B5 back in syndication... But if the long term goal of this campaign is to grow the B5 fanbase, then I think the single most impactful thing we could do is get the show back on Netflix Instant (at least in the US).

And now is the time to make this a top priority. When JMS' and the Wachowski's Sense 8 premiers exclusively on Netflix next year, they're going to promote the hell out of it. If we can make sure B5 is also on the service then, it will appear on everyone's recommendations who check out the new show. If we ride that wave, it could be huge.
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Old September 8 2013, 05:28 AM   #41
Brolan
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

WB and Netflix have made deals in the past. You don't think they talked about B5? Likely WB wants more than Netflix is willing to pay, otherwise it would be on already.
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Old September 8 2013, 06:56 AM   #42
Nick Ryder
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Or WB just wanted all "their" stuff on one streaming site instead of a bunch... but I think Netflix is really the only place that has wide access. WB doesn't really have the kind of ubiquitous streaming site yet - Netflix is on EVERYTHING.

I love my Netflix... and yeah I'd watch B5 if they put it on there - the entire series and the spin offs and the movies
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Old September 8 2013, 03:09 PM   #43
DWF
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Jan wrote: View Post
Nope. That's the whole point of the campaign - to find channels to show it to help grow the fan base. As far as most of us can tell, B5 hasn't been on TV in the US for ten years or so. Perhaps only five in other countries, but that's why I'm asking the question.

As everybody knows, Trek TOS was cancelled (twice!) due to lousy ratings and then found its fans when it was shown in reruns for years and years afterward. B5's hardly ever been in reruns, particularly at any decent hour, so pretty much the only way for fans to find it is word of mouth.

ETA: Thanks, Reverend, that would be nice. In fact, one page I'm looking to add to the website will be banners, graphics, posters and memes that fans can use to spread the word. If you're interested in doing anything like that, that'd be great!

Jan
Actually TOS was only cancelled once the letter writing saved it from being cancelled in the second season. And TOS went straight into syndication and stayed there for years, which was't the case with B5. Now you could start a petition but in the end no matter what you do you'll be needing the cooperation of Warner Brothers to make it happen.
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Old September 8 2013, 05:14 PM   #44
Jan
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

DWF wrote: View Post
Actually TOS was only cancelled once the letter writing saved it from being cancelled in the second season. And TOS went straight into syndication and stayed there for years, which was't the case with B5. Now you could start a petition but in the end no matter what you do you'll be needing the cooperation of Warner Brothers to make it happen.
Thanks. I thought it had been cancelled and the letter writing campaign brought it back for one more season before it was cancelled again. And speaking of Trek, happy 47th 'birthday' to Trek TOS.

For those who are wanting Babylon 5 streaming...I think this is interesting and kind of makes my point for me:

It turns out that B5 is available to buy and download from Amazon.com and also Seasons 2-4 are available to buy and download via YouTube as of last week (Coincidence? Who knows....). And yet nobody on any site where I've been talking about this campaign ever mentioned either even though many people jumped on the 'make it available to stream' bandwagon. So my point about potential viewers having to know to go look for Babylon 5 stands. Sure, Netflix would be a better source but it appears that episodes are widely available, albeit at a price each and perhaps only in the US, *if* you know where to look.

Jan
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Old September 8 2013, 05:16 PM   #45
Harvey
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

dansigal wrote: View Post
Approximately 25 million people watched the NFL premiere on Thursday night, streaming audiences are nothing close to that right now, they just aren't.
Two things. First, the audience that is tuning in for the NFL is obviously much, much, much greater than the audience that would potentially tune in for reruns of Babylon 5 on television. Second, Netflix currently has 37.6 million streaming subscribers (and is growing).
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