Commercials: One for Three

Last week's news that ABC has paid $800,000 for the Academy Award-winning French film A Man and a Woman came as no surprise to the industry. All year long, old and not-so-old movies have been winning the ratings race, even from prime-time shows. TV's appetite for more and better movies can only increase. But as the demand goes up, so do the prices, and turning a profit on such expensive shows becomes more and more of a problem.

The obvious solution is to sell more ads, as individual stations have already discovered. These days the average late movie runs one...

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