Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mr.Burns explains the HULU controvery to you

Cable companies are mad at It's complicated but I think Mr. Burns does a good job of explaining the facts.


Smithers enters.

SMITHERS: You wanted to see me, Mr. Burns?

BURNS: My great-great-great grandson tells me that something called YouTube is a big hit on that world web netosphere thingamajiggy.

SMITHERS: Yes, it is. It gets millions of viewers a day.

BURNS: I want in on that action! How can we steal it and say we came up with it first? Like I did once with radio.

SMITHERS: Well, I think YouTube already too established to steal. But we can improve on it.

BURNS: I’m listening. At least in this ear.

SMITHERS: YouTube just shows clips. What if we formed a competing site that shows entire episodes of current popular shows?

BURNS: You mean like “Mr. Peepers” and the “Colgate Comedy Hour”? Oooh, how the kids love that one!

SMITHERS: I’ve taken the liberty of asking one of our lowly employees to watch television for 260 straight hours so we can determine which shows the average simpleton will want to watch. (checking clipboard) His name is Homer Simpson.

BURNS: Homer, you say? That’s it! I’ve just thought of the name for this new site. HOMO.

SMITHERS: Brilliant as always, sir.

BURNS: Let’s launch it right away. I’m liable to forget in an hour so time is of the essence.

SMITHERS: Well, there are some issues to be worked out first.

BURNS: Issues? What issues?

SMITHERS: The cable company pays cable networks for the use of their product. It’s not going to want to pay if the public can see the shows elsewhere.

BURNS: Who owns the cable company?

SMITHER: Well, we do.

BURNS: And who really pays the cable networks?

SMITHERS: That would be the subscribers.

BURNS: That Homer fellow then. And who owns hundreds of cable networks that make up the current landscape?

SMITHERS: Us and maybe two others.

BURNS: We own the shows as well, do we not?

SMITHERS: All except “Mr. Peepers” and perhaps “Family Guy”.

BURNS: And if we put commercials in the shows we show on the interspace we get all of that ad revenue too, correct?

SMITHERS: Not to mention, the cable company – that we own – provides the access to the internet in the first place.

BURNS: So we charge the great unwashed for that. What are the issues? Is there a ninth or tenth way to screw Mr. John Q. Public that we’re not thinking of? I’m all ear.

SMITHERS: You’re forgetting about the writers, directors, and actors.

BURNS: Damn it, Smithers, we’re talking about providing entertainment to the masses! How do writers, directors, and actors figure into any of that?

SMITHERS: They have this misguided notion that just because they actually created and made these shows that they have some proprietary right to them.

BURNS: What?! Why that’s INSANE! That’s like saying when I have a bowel movement that I own it.

SMITHERS: You don’t?

BURNS: Certainly not. Nature does. It becomes part of the grand scheme of this planet I so informally call earth. This is a moot point anyway. I haven’t taken a bowel movement since the Berlin wall went up.

SMITHERS: Well, these so-called “artistes” believe they should receive two or three cents royalties for using their material.

BURNS: Which is it?


BURNS: Two or three cents?

SMITHERS: We used to pay them $9,000 or so for every network rerun so we’re still getting off much cheaper.

BURNS: You didn’t answer my question. Two or three cents?

SMITHERS: I’m afraid they’re going to want more. They know that we stand to make billions.

BURNS: Two or three? It’s a simple question!

SMITHERS: It’s more like a dollar even!

BURNS: No! Never! The only reason I'm not pounding on the desk is that I can no longer make a fist.

SMITHERS: Sir, you could always promise the dollar to them and then never deliver. Just like we do with their pension and health benefits.

BURNS: Still. It’s the principle!

SMITHERS: Well, Mr. Burns, I think you’ve found your tenth way to screw Mr. John Q. Increase fees and let him pay for the royalties.

BURNS: Royalties that we have no intention of paying. Yes. That I can live with. When can we be up and running?

SMITHERS: Just as soon as we finish uploading WKRP and “Cops” we’re ready to go.

BURNS: Smithers, this will be a huge success!

SMITHERS: Absolutely. Years from now when people say the word HOMO they will think only of you!

BURNS: Finally! A legacy!


J.J. said...

Golly, this makes me wonder why all those stupid writers (and now some actors) thought that internet deal was worth fighting over (and makes me pissed that we didn't fight for a true fair share of the pie).

"Trust us, once we figure out how to make money from the internet we'll cut you in..."

Yeah, and I have a bridge and swamp to sell ya--and Elvis lives lives in my garage.

Every time I hear the word "hulu" I feel dirty.

Tim W. said...

I tried to go to this site and I think Smithers may have taken over it's operation. They're still showing Mr Peepers, although Mr Peepers does some very naughty, naughty things.

cb said...

ouch. MAN the truth hurts.

Frasier Fan said...

Sorry, I'm too torn up about Danny getting axed from American Idol to pay attention to anything else today!

Mary Stella said...

At risk of revealing that I'm tragically un-hip, what's Hulu?

Never mind. I'll just Google it. That much I understand. :-)

John said...

Mr. Burns can't upload WKRP until he gets music rights clearance and pays roylaties to the RIAA. That's why all the shows on the WKRP Season 1 DVD are about six minutes long (pony up the damn money, Rupert).

But it is nice to see that he's into environmental biodegradable organic nitrogen waste recycling.

A. Buck Short said...

Wonderfully in character. I Googled "Hulu" and got Hulu instead of an explanation of Hulu. So I Googled "Hulu, Wiki," but those were BOTH still in Hawaiian. What is it with this Levine guy and Hawaii?

So then I watched the Daily Show on Hulu. Why does watching a program alone online on the computer monitor feel even more alienating and pathetic that watching the same thing alone on TV?

Mary, are you available for a library study date to help me figure out Facebook?

jim 7 said...

"Why does watching a program alone online on the computer monitor feel even more alienating and pathetic that watching the same thing alone on TV?"

Blame muscle memory. You associate the computer viewing experience with the porn you usually view in that environment.
You're welcome.

Tom Quigley said...

I've often wondered what kind of accomodations are being made for this new media to the creative segment. A great satirical way to explain it, Ken. It really points out that people at both ends of the pipeline are being screwed.

wv: oratio -- what one performs with one's tongue on the middle of an Oreo cookie...

CrackerJacker said...

I've never had time for Hulu, because of the way it cuts out for non-American viewers, of which I am one. Because I can't use it, I really don't have any experience of how it works - but the future of what the broadcast networks do will be interesting, mostly because I'm sure it'll be nothing like what the networks currently do.

Also, "controversy". Don't worry, it'll come to you.

Mary Stella said...

A. Buck Short asked:
Mary, are you available for a library study date to help me figure out Facebook?You bet. I'm all over Facebook. I have my personal page and am about to launch a "fan" page for the dolphin facility where I work. I love snapping photos with my Blackberry and uploading them to Facebook. It makes me feel like I'm not so much of a techno-dinosaur. Since you don't live in the Keys, we'll have to meet online with Skype.

Next up, I tackle Twittering. Here's the best marketing related to Twitter. Virtual PR companies are holding webinars to teach you how to properly and effectively use Twitter in your marketing programs. (Poor Tom Salvo on Desperate Housewives.) I don't know yet if Twitter is smart marketing, but if the PR people actually convince others to pay $329 for the webinar, they're doing something right.

wv=fingr, wht I uz 2 txt frnds

Buttermilk Sky said...

Anything that angers cable companies makes me smile. Especially Comcast. I'm sorry the creative people are getting shafted, but it's nothing new. Willie Dixon, who wrote half the great R & B songs we all love, had to work for the Chess Brothers painting their studios.

Anonymous said...

since the Berlin wall went "up".