Copyrights Keep TV Shows off DVD

Copyrights Keep TV Shows off DVD — note that the industry is no friendlier internally than it is to those on the outside.

For many TV shows, costs to license the original music for DVD are prohibitively high, so rights owners replace the music with cheaper tunes, much to the irritation of avid fans. And some shows, like WKRP, which is full of music, will probably never make it to DVD because of high licensing costs.

“The indication from the studios is that we may never see (WKRP in Cincinnati) because of all the music that would have to be licensed,” said David Lambert, news director of, a clearinghouse of information on TV shows released on DVD. “As the DJ spins the record as he’s talking to Loni Anderson, if there is music playing even for a couple of seconds, then the people producing the DVDs would have to license it.”

[…] “I think the studios are a bit shortsighted,” Lambert said. “A lot of fans — if they understood the situation — would gladly wait a little longer and pay a little more to get the complete, original version.”

[…] Navigating music licensing issues can be more difficult for shows where the music experience is central. The producers of one current show, American Dreams, went to extraordinary lengths to prepare the show for DVD.