Previous | Next
320321322323324325326327328329330331332333334335336337338339340341342343344345346347348349350351352353354355356357358359360361362363364365366367368369370371372373374 of 824
magazine you can have very popular features that will carry a lot of
other material. Once you're into a magazine you're apt to go through
all of it--you may not read all of it but you leaf through all of it.
When you're dealing with an HBO, each program segment, to some
extent, has to carry itself, because it's just so easy to turn the
switch to another station. The minute you get bored you turn to
another. So the sheer entertainment strength of each picture is an
essential ingredient. It has to be. Now, obviously, you can't fill
twenty-four hours with great movies. In fact, it's probable that the
minds of all the directors put together can't produce more than
twelve or fifteen or maybe twenty “great” movies in a year. So you
are, indeed, filling an awful lot of time with either “inferior
material” or material that doesn't appeal to a very large audience.
Because the theory of HBO was that it would be very convenient for
the viewer, because we play the same film at different hours on
different days. So each film would run four or five times in a week,
let's say, the theory being that that would give everybody a chance
at it. To some extent it worked.
Then, of course, HBO was faced with the newest competitor, the
video cassette. The video cassette allows the viewer to get, to pick
the movie, he wants and get it earlier than it'll come on cable. So
the video cassette probably has an awful lot to do with that straight
upward line suddenly going flat.
You talked about the politics involved in Manhattan Cable--
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help