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TCM is trying to adapt to the streaming era as it caters to a devoted audience including Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese

  • "TCM’s commercial-free status is a key reason viewers embrace it," says the Los Angeles Times' Stephen Battaglio. "The downside is it cannot raise ad rates to offset the revenue decline caused by cord-cutting. S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows the network took in $286 million in subscriber revenue in 2020, down from $313.6 million the previous year." As older viewers stick with TCM via their cable subscriptions, the cable network is reaching younger viewers via its hub on HBO Max. TCM also spent several nights in March tackling controversial classic films with its polarizing "Reframed" series. Still, there are no plans to turn TCM into a standalone streaming offering, especially after the failure of FilmStruck a few years ago. The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola is one of TCM's most devoted fans. “I recently saw a film I never heard of starring John Garfield — He Ran All the Way," Coppola tells The Times. “And I realized that I never appreciated what a great actor he was until I saw his work in this, his final film. It would not have come to my attention if not for TCM.” Paul Thomas Anderson, who has TCM running 24 hours a day on his kitchen TV, adds: "TCM amongst filmmakers is considered holy ground. Politically neutral, essential and unimpeachable in its dedication to film history. There is nothing like it and it should be protected.” Martin Scorsese, who has TCM on constantly in his editing bay, speaks for many TCM fans when he says: "I fear for the future of TCM. So does everyone else I know who loves movies. It gives me something to turn to, to bounce off of, to rest in, to reinvigorate my thinking — just glancing at some image or combination of images at a certain moment. It’s more like a presence in the room, a reminder of film history as a living, ongoing entity.”

    TOPICS: TCM, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson