Thanks to all of you whom have already written in to comment on my post about television projects. Garry Craven from Leeds asked a very important question about whether the new series featuring myself and Mick would be out on Discovery tv first or DVD. Garry would like to see a tv release before the DVD.
There are a number of issues here, Garry. The first is that Discovery have not commissioned a new angling series for three years and they show no signs of doing so. I think that they got a huge vote of support from anglers but our patience is wearing thin. They are draining the last dregs out of the ‘repeats’ barrel by occasionally re-hashing old footage to create ‘Fishing’s Funniest Moments’ or ‘Matt’s Greatest Catches’ etc., but the truth is that they are finished with angling and have been for some time. Actually, I do not see Discovery as being the future of angling broadcasting.
The main broadcasters occasionally commission angling series but they usually get it wrong – Robson Greene’s series being a prime example. Channel 4 recently took ‘Catching the Impossible’ but they paid peanuts for it and put it on at a bad time. They look more likely than Discovery to pick angling up and so too do National Geographic.
The reality is that the tv companies are not putting money into fishing unless it has some sorry of ridiculous angle like ‘world’s scariest fish’ or ‘Paris Hilton goes Fishing.’ They will buy stuff that has already been filmed but think about it – it costs the best part of 100,000 pounds to make series in camera fees, sound, editing, travel, graphics etc., so where does that money come from? Anglers have a very naive view of how tv comes about but the reality is that things only get made if someone pays for them and there is always a ‘payback’ angle. Bowler and Miles only got to finish ‘Catching the Impossible’ because the DVD release gave them their money back. Then they were able to put it on tv.
The DVD release followed by tv now appears to be the only model that will work for mainstream fishing shows. Celebrities will get money up front but the rest of us will have to make the shows and hope to sell them. If the public won’t pay for DVD’s then I see no hope for the future because the angling industry is one of the poorest paid, unprofessional and under-funded industries in the world.
The big problem with fishing is that all the DVD’s that have been pirated and put up on You Tube are killing the chances of new shows being made. So too are the repeats. There is so much free fishing aired now that there is no money to make any more tv shows.
Inevitably, I think that the model of releasing the DVD set before airing on tv is the only way to make it work.
Where we are now is that we have a potential sponsor to put the money up for the shows provided that they get that money back through DVD sales. I have written a proposal for the series with a breakdown of what each show will be about. I have also spoken to Mick and, like me, he is up for the project in principle. The camera crew are on board. We even have some footage in the bag but it needs additional filming.
We are now waiting for the contract that outlines what myself and the Duke will get for making the series. Inevitably there will be some horse trading but I think that everyone wants to do this. Mick and myself have not made a new series in three years and in that time no other series has come close to getting the support form the angling public that we did. We are very aware that you want us to make new shows and, trust me, if it is possible to do it we will!
People probably think that Mick and myself got rich from making the shows. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have made very little money out of making TV shows but we have enjoyed making them so much. I think that we both feel that we would like to leave all the people whom have supported us over the years with one last big ‘thank-you’ series. Let’s hope that we get the chance to do it!