Missed on Hallmark? Sold on eBay. (Through The Wire)Linda Haugsted.
Multichannel News, May 17, 2004 v25 i20 p8(1)
COPYRIGHT 2004 Reed Business Information
Weird things crop up all the time on the Internet auction site eBay. The
Wire has wondered before just who would post such ephemera as transcripts
from the annual Television Critics Association meetings with stars.
We're even more curious as to who would buy such things.
But the trend continues, and has now taken a more alarming bend. Some of
the cyber-vendors are posting press kits for sale, including the VHS or
DVD copies of the programs the kits are meant to promote.
Where's Jack Valenti when you need him?
Networks--like Motion Picture Association of America chief Valenti's movie
studios--are concerned about the trend, because they anticipate an
aftermarket for their original fare when they release the DVDs, on their
own schedule, after the cable window.
Recent press screeners offered for sale last week included episodes of
Lifetime's Intimate Portrait series featuring Vanna White; Hallmark
Channel's Life on Liberty Street, which was offered for sale just one day
after it debuted on the basic network; and episodes of State of Play on
Full Size PictureAllison Green, publicist for BBC America, said that net
was aware of the auction. "Obviously, it's something we don't condone,"
she said. "We send out press materials to a range of media contacts in
Pam Slay, vice president of publicity for Hallmark Channel, notified of
the Liberty auction by a reporter, was dismayed how fast her net's film
cropped up on eBay. "Who knew that finishing our originals so close to
their air date would be a good thing?" she quipped.
"We don't want a digital copy of anything out there," she added, saying
Hallmark plans a commercial release of that same DVD in the future.
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