Taking the Small Screen to the Big Screen

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Who says the small screen has to be so small? Networks and other content providers are trying to build new concepts, and some buzz, by taking their content to the big screen.

ABC, Fox and NBC are premiering some of their new fall shows at the New York Television Festival in a few weeks, trying to generate positive buzz about some of the shows that they have high hopes for.

 Since 2004, the Boston Red Sox have screened live games at local movie theaters around the Boston area, an idea that came out of necessity, as the notoriously small Fenway Park sells out nearly every night.

Last night, the New York Mets had a screening of their own, “Mets at the Movies” at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City.

The team, along with SNY, The Mets TV network screened last night’s game against the Phillies, with all the ballpark atmosphere. Hot dog and beer vendors, Shea Stadium’s public address announcer, an organist providing live music, the “Pepsi Party Patrol” tossing t-shirts into the crowd, and of course Mr. Met himself.




Matt Kearney of Screenvision, Dave Newman of the Mets and the aforementioned Mr. Met outside of the Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan

When there was a big play, the whole crowd would roar with excitement, when there was a bad one (such as the one that ended the game… though that is another story) the crowd groaned with frustration. It was just like being at the game… except indoors… and the seats were more comfortable.

It was a lot more fun than watching the game alone on the couch, that’s for sure. And everyone in attendance got two free tickets to a Mets-Braves game in a few weeks.

So, taking the small screen to the big screen: Baseball teams are doing it, with lots of success, and networks are using it to promote their shows. But beyond these relatively narrow niches, is there any future to this? Would you pay to watch something you can get for free (or on cable) on the big screen?

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