TV Distribution Theory – June 16, 2019
Theory: WILLY AND SCRATCH was included as part of the MGM/UA Television Package(s), and was distributed via 16mm TV prints.
“Evidence” to back up theory:
- W&S was aired on WLRE Grand Rapids on March 12, 1983.
- A November 1982 article about WLRE indicates that:
“Channel 26 has purchased approximately 1,000 new movie titles, and ‘now has the rights to such films as ANNIE HALL, THE STING and just about all the horror movies that are available'”
- ANNIE HALL was included in the “UA Showcase 11” package, per this court document.
- The years that we’ve identified W&S being broadcast, and therefore the years we know it was available in some type of broadcast package, coincides with the MGM/UA TV Distribution era (post-merger and pre-Turner purchase).
- Based on court records it appears that MGM/UA still sent 16mm prints to TV stations as part of the package(s), also per above reference court documents.
This is of course circumstantial at best, but until we actually find a MGM/UA TV distribution catalog it’s the best we got.