What is a television distributor and why are they necessary?

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A tv show called the Boondocks was set to make a return on HBO Max when one of the cast members revealed that Sony pulled the plug on the project.

According to Wikipedia, Sony are the distributors of the show, but why are they necessary in the first place? Aaron McGruder writes the script and runs the show, the cast perform their roles, the artists animate the show, and HBO Max (or previously Adult Swim) airs the show. What role does Sony play in all of this that’s so essential that the show can’t go on without them?

In: 3

Pretty sure it means Sony bankrolls the production of it and tags their brand on it as a reassurance of quality of sorts, then brokers it to the highest bidder who will put it on their platform, taking their slices on the way in and the way out.

Sony is funding and distribution. The money men. No big deal, the boondocks sucked anyway.

The people you mentioned are all the creative side of the show, but the production company and distributors are the business side. They put up or borrow the money to produce the show (pay salaries of actors/writers/crew, pay for sets, pay animation studios, music licensing, etc. and then sell the show to networks, streaming services to recoup the investment in the show.

If you’ve got a product and no way to distribute it then it’s not going to go anywhere. Distribution isn’t a case of just sending it somewhere they handle all aspects from pushing it to be shown at a reasonable time on a reasonable day i.e. not 3am Monday morning the streaming, DVD & Blu-ray releases, advertising and a whole host of other stuff.