It’s common knowledge that the big studios such as Warner, Fox, Universal, Disney, Sony, and Paramount make huge sums from the box office, rental and home markets, but how much money do they make from TV licensing?
“In 2010, according to sources at Time Warner, Warner Bros. harvested over $4 billion from worldwide licensing to TV. Nearly 80 percent came from just four cable customers—HBO, Turner, ABC Family, and NBCU’s cable channels,” reports an article on AdWeek.
“Not only did this far exceed its share of theatrical box-office receipts, which were $2.4 billion in 2010, but this licensing is highly profitable: The studio pays none of the cost of advertising, prints, or logistics. Almost all proceeds, minus some residuals paid to third parties, go to a studio’s bottom line.
“Whatever the vagaries of the box office, licensing is the largest and most reliable source of profits for the studios.”