Thursday, October 03, 2013

Headlong Charge

... into TV land.

... While DreamWorks already has spun off characters from “Madagascar,” “Panda” and “Dragon” into their own shows on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, the company is a making a more concerted effort to step up its TV efforts — using digital platforms to its advantage as it does.

“We are moving very aggressively,” Katzenberg said this summer as he unveiled plans for the company to become less reliant on films as its main source of income. “Television is a transformative line of business, and we expect going forward it will be a significant source of revenue.”

In fact, DWA’s expansion into TV is expected to generate $100 million in revenue for the company this year and at least $200 million in 2015 and beyond, representing around 30% of the company’s gross profit margin, same as its film biz. ...

DreamWorks Animation made a run at television production before. Back in the go-go nineties, when the company was still (mostly) housed on the Universal lot, they had a tv animation studio nestled in a gleaming high rise in Encino.

That earlier division was headed up by former Dixney TVA exec Gary Krisel, but it didn't last very long. It didn't get the deal it expected with ABC to do Saturday morning shows because Disney, then headed by Katzenberg nemesis Michael Eisner, scooped ABC/Cap Cities up early in the DreamWorks-ABC negotiations.

And that, as the saying goes, ended that.

But now the television landscaped has changed a lot. In 2013 there are hand-held devices, internet channels, and cable networks by the hundreds. DreamWorks Animation has struck a deal with Netflix and they are, as I type, ramping up tv production in a major way. The newer TV division will be off the Glendale campus on the upper floors of a high rise on Central Avenue.

If events unfold as Mr. Katzenberg plans, the sky will be the limit.


Alex Dudley said...

People can say what they want about Katzenberg and DWA, but I love their ambition, and I look forward to see their new endeavors in the television and digital media field.

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