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ERIC Number: ED309470
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Management and Economic Implications of Bundling and Block Booking of Television and Cable Programming.
Picard, Robert G.
Bundling, a practice which has increased dramatically in the television and cable industries in recent years, occurs when program distributors package groups of movies and episodes of series, and then sell licenses to use these packages to TV stations and cable channels. Typically, such bundled packages include both highly desirable and less desirable films or episodes of off-network series. Bundling can easily turn into block booking, the illegal practice of making programming available in indivisible units that harm competition. Litigation continues to occur in the motion picture industry as a result of block booking and is beginning to occur in the cable industry, where it is often called "tying." Tying occurs when a programming service requires a system to take an unwanted channel to attain a desired channel; litigation is being directed at services tying cable programs, motion picture studios, and cable operators. Such practices limit the ability of programmers to negotiate prices based on the economic forces of supply and demand. As a result, many stations are forced to pay higher prices for products they would prefer to reject. In addition, bundling and block booking limit the ability to bargain for discounts for using programming in several markets in which a broadcaster may own properties and to barter advertising time for programming. With mergers such as that of Time and Warner Communications creating vertical integration in the programming industry, the linkages of program production, distribution, and exhibition grow stronger and provide more incentive for distributors to engage in economic practices that disadvantage local firms who provide delivery to audiences. (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A