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Old September 9 2013, 12:41 AM   #61
Snatcher42
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Jan wrote: View Post
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.
Only for these a la carte sites. Being part of a subscription service is totally different. Netflix especially, because they invest a tremendous amount into their recommendation antilogarithm, even offering a million dollar prize to anyone who could develop something better. Directing viewers to content they might like is a huge part of their service.

They're also in the zeitgiest for delivering new, original shows. As their chief content officer Ted Sarandos said, "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us." And again, I can't stress enough the importance of JMS' Sense 8 on Netflix next year.

Babylon 5 is also available for purchase on Best Buy/Walmart's CinemaNow. And Seasons 1 - 4 are on Vudu.com, which is where I watch them because they are in the original 4:3 aspect ratio there. But to group sites like this into the same category as Netflix is folly. Not all streaming services are equal.

Again, I'll support this movement in any form, sign any petition, etc. But my two cents, which I offer as constructive criticism because I want this to work, is that Netflix specifically (not streaming in general) should be our #1 priority.

Last edited by Snatcher42; September 9 2013 at 02:13 AM.
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Old September 9 2013, 01:55 AM   #62
Kegg
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

^
Being available for purchase on streaming is not the same as being available on a streaming service like Netflix, hulu or Amazon Instant. It's essentially no different from DVD sales, while being available on a free streaming service or a paid streaming service is a bit more like TV or cable TV, respectively. Key word here was 'free', wasn't it? With the idea that people are able to watch Babylon 5 without having specifically paid for Babylon 5.

Snatcher42 also has a point about Sense8. Take one of Netflix's surprise original series hits from this year - no, not House of Cards, but Orange Is The New Black. One of Netflix's top recommendations for those who watch Orange Is The New Black is Weeds, another series created by Jenji Kohan (besides the Netflix series being explicitly billed as 'from the creator of Weeds'). A similar synergy would be pretty good for Babylon 5, especially if Sense8 is a hit (and so far original series are doing more than okay.)
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Old September 9 2013, 03:30 AM   #63
Snatcher42
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

^Yeah, there are basically two types of streaming services: free or subscription based, and video-on-demand. Of course the current state of B5 online reflects the idea that you have to go looking for it, because that's the business model WB is pushing. They want to milk the last few cents out of the show's existing fans. In fact, I'd be willing to bet monetizing it on these VOD sites was a big reason they pulled it from Netflix in the first place.

What we need to do is shift Babylon 5 back to a streaming model where it can attract new fans. And with Sense8 coming up, now's the time to do it!
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Old September 9 2013, 03:34 AM   #64
sidious618
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Everyone my age (20s) discovers new shows on Netflix, not on cable.
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Old September 9 2013, 02:47 PM   #65
Lindley
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

I'm going to have to go with the majority here. Getting B5 on a subscription-based streaming service like Netflix (or free; but that's less likely to fly with WB) is the way to go. If it gets back in syndication so much the better, but that cannot be a higher priority than subscription-based streaming. It's a harder sell and it's debatable how much better the payoff would be.

Pay-for-download isn't good enough. No one pays for something they haven't already decided they want. With a subscription-based service, the user has already paid, and doesn't have to fork over any more cash to check out what B5 is all about. I recently watched the first episode of Burn Notice on Netflix Instant; I would not have done that if I had to pay to see it.

Netflix isn't the only outlet, but it is probably the ideal one due to its large share of the market. Amazon Instant Video would be another option, PROVIDED (as mentioned above) B5 is offered free with Amazon Prime, rather than as one of their pay-for-view offerings.
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Old September 9 2013, 03:28 PM   #66
flavaflav
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Seeing as how cable tv is becoming a thing of the past, put me down for a streaming vote as well. Netflix and similar services are the way to go.
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Old September 9 2013, 03:44 PM   #67
Lindley
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

A hybrid model might work, where the first part of the show (maybe the first 2 seasons) are free or available on a subscription basis, and the remainder is pay-for-access. But that's as far as I'm willing to push that. The viewer must be allowed to sample the product for free or there's no hope.
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Old September 9 2013, 03:48 PM   #68
dansigal
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

There is also more to it than building up the fan base (although that of course is nothing but helpful). It's also about just keeping the show alive in the public consciousness and showing that its still viable. If say the Science Channel decides to air reruns and it gets relatively decent ratings, even from just the existing fans, and then say one or two other channels notice and think its worth the cost to also run some reruns now and then, that may make WB take notice that the franchise still has some life in it.
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Old September 9 2013, 04:18 PM   #69
Jan
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Okay, so for those of you saying streaming is the way to go (and I don't disagree, I just plan to go with TV, then streaming in the campaign I'm involved with)...How? It's pretty easy to decide that "That's the way to go" but not obvious how to actually implement it.

Let's have some solid ideas for persuading WB to go from pay-per-episode to a presumably flat or graduated payment arrangement from Netflix/Hulu/whatever. Yeah, we can flood those services with searches for Babylon 5 but that's not something WB can see.

Thoughts? Plans? Suggestions?

Jan
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Old September 9 2013, 04:38 PM   #70
Snatcher42
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

I think the processes would be similar to approaching a potential television station. We can write to Netflix, either individually or as a group, asking for B5 to be added to the service. And follow that up with petitions, letter writing campaigns, etc. Again possibly tying it all in with the upcoming Sense8, to gain more attention.

Some intel gathering first might be good, too. Maybe we can find out exactly why the show was pulled. Did WB want more money than Netflix was willing to pay? Did they want the show exclusively on competing pay-per-episode sites? Were there other license issues involved? Royalties? Basically, what kind of hurdles are we facing here?

Who we can contact for that, I'm not sure. Netflix? WB? Someone with industry connections? I'd love to hear some ideas, too!
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Old September 11 2013, 04:26 PM   #71
Robert Comsol
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

As a die-hard B-Fiver I'd like to join the discussion.

First thought: To have people have an interest in Babylon 5 I'd say that fan-made trailers and teasers would be a start. B-Fivers certainly know which are great scenes, quotes and the like to put in such trailers. Do we have good trailers that reflect and reveal the spirit of the show so others may get interested and won't feel disappointed?

Trailers could range from epic to downright hilarious: "Would you care to drink a cup of tea with your mortal enemy?"

These "Free Babylon 5" posters I've seen here (great artwork!) won't do the job, I'm afraid, because unless average audiences know what it's about, why would they care to "free" something they don't know?

Wouldn't something more aggressive along the lines "The science fiction epic nobody wants you to experience" be a better or more original approach?

The one thing that still annoys me to this day is how Ron Moore advertised the new BSG - at the expense of B5. His Mission Statement highlighted all the sci-fi cliches and stereotypes BSG was not about (of course he conveniently did not mention robots ) which attracted the interest of Edward James Olmos.

I'd say it would be fair use to use this Mission Statement and rewrite it on behalf of Babylon 5.

Unless interest is created to experience B5 the current sad state of affairs will continue.

Second thought: Unlike TNG all the live action footage is available in genuine 16:9. It's essentially the superimposed CGI effects and the space CGI that needs a drastic overhaul, after that 16:9 reformatting of these went so horribly wrong (apparently the mistake of one of WB's contractors as the very same crap happened to the remake of The Shining at about the same time).

We know the acting and the scripts are great, we know that Christopher Franke's "Opera Sauvage" score is stellar, but the quality of the studio sets and the outdated CGI effects isn't really the stuff to attract new and spoiled audiences.

There's got to be some eye candy and - sorry - that especially applies for the first season before the rollercoaster ride that is B5 really gets into motion.

Apparently WB holds on to their rights. Frankly, I hope they are watching the remastering of TNG and its subsequent sales with interest and then decide whether they want to do this kind of remastering or leave it to the "great maker" (JMS) to do it.

Bob
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Old September 11 2013, 05:48 PM   #72
Reverend
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

These "Free Babylon 5" posters I've seen here (great artwork!) won't do the job, I'm afraid, because unless average audiences know what it's about, why would they care to "free" something they don't know?
The idea wasn't to attract new people, but to get the attention of existing fans for them to help with the actual campaign. Obviously people who don't already know the show will know or care what Psi Corps is, nor get the Peanuts reference. Honestly I thought that was self evident.
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Old September 11 2013, 10:06 PM   #73
Robert Comsol
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

True, the change of your avatar from Mass Effect (fantastic B5 style twist) to Babylon 5 is what attracted me to come here.

But I didn't get the Peanuts reference (I more a Duck Dodgers kind of fan ), I have to admit. What did I miss?

As for Psi Corps how about this (for in- and outsiders): "Don't suspect a friend, report him!"

Bob
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Old September 11 2013, 10:28 PM   #74
Sindatur
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
True, the change of your avatar from Mass Effect (fantastic B5 style twist) to Babylon 5 is what attracted me to come here.

But I didn't get the Peanuts reference (I more a Duck Dodgers kind of fan ), I have to admit. What did I miss?

As for Psi Corps how about this (for in- and outsiders): "Don't suspect a friend, report him!"

Bob
The Peanuts reference is in reference to Lucy getting Charlie Brown to attempt to punt, and every time, no matter how careful Charlie Brown is not to fall for the trap, and no matter how Lucy guarantees him she won't do it this time, sure enough, he goes for the kick, and she snatches the ball up, and Charlie Brown takes a tumble. JMS made this reference at least once when apologizing yet again for things not working out when he believed (and shared with fans) that a deal was coming/was sewn up and new B5 would be on it's way soon. I believe it was when The Memory of Shadows almost came about. (JMS/The fans would be Charlie Brown, Lucy would be WB, and B5 would be the Football)
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Old September 11 2013, 10:53 PM   #75
Yoda
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Re: #FreeBabylon5 Campaign

Leave it to JMS to get mad that a popular TV show threw his show a reference
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