As legacy media companies like Disney, WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS and Comcast have launched their own direct-to- consumer divisions, the demand for preexisting storylines that offer recognizable titles, characters, stars and settings has turned into a frenzy. As such, entertainment giants have reorganized their businesses around their recognizable intellectual properties — known in industry parlance as IP — regardless of how the content is ultimately delivered to the consumer. In doing so, they are building out vast interconnected “universes” with the potential to yield greater numbers of projects across all of their production divisions.
Profitable rights management is complicated for TV stations because they are both creators and purchasers of content that can be monetized across multiple digital media platforms. Adding to the complexity is the need to clear and ensure intellectual property rights at the pace of today’s digital media. With a growing number of stations using social media platforms, they must ensure all of the rights are in place within the very short timeframe determined by the content’s relevance to the viewer.