Though seen as a full competitor to the older ABC, NBC and CBS terrestrial networks in the 21st century, it was just emerging as a significant national broadcaster in 1996. At the time of the broadcast of the film, they had only been programming full seven-day weeks for three years, and were still acquiring stations in the smaller markets of the United States. Nevertheless, their flagship programme, The Simpsons, a growing stable of successful primetime soaps, and their recent acquisition of rights to broadcast professional American football, had begun to threaten the dominance of "The Big Three" when McGann debuted.
North American release of Doctor Who (1996) Edit
Fox retains partial ownership of the 1996 movie, and this ownership had prevented the release of the tele-film on home video in North America until 2011.
Fox is a part of the same group as Twentieth Century Studios (then known as Twentieth Century Fox) a bitter rival of Warner Brothers, the parent of Warner Video. Because BBC Worldwide is contractually obligated to use Warner for North American distribution of their videos, they are at odds with Fox, who would obviously prefer to release the film through their own home video division. Thus, the film remained hostage to the competing interests of Fox and the BBC in Region 1 until 2011, when it received its Region 1 DVD release.