Syndication, the way to maximize the value of your media content.

Maximize the value of your media content.

Have you ever wondered why “Live with Kelly and Michael” airs on Fox in Dallas, but airs on CBS in New Orleans, and ABC in New York?  Why are they on different channels? “Good Morning America” airs only on ABC, and “The Today Show” only on NBC in every city.  So why are shows like Ellen, Dr. Phil and Wendy Williams on different channels in almost every area of the country?  The reason, is that the owners of those shows want to maximize the value of their media content.  Syndication allows the distribution agents of a program to license the broadcast rights individually in just over 211 different domestic markets.  The largest being New York, followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, on down to Glendive, Montana. The later being #211, the smallest market in the country.

Although both are considered media content, there are basically two types of syndicated television shows.  The first is called “Offnet”, which means “off network”.  Simply put, these are shows that premiered on the Network (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX).  Generally shows with 4 or more seasons on the network, become candidates for syndication.  One of the most successful offset shows is “Seinfeld”, which went into syndication with 8 seasons of episodes.  So far, Seinfeld has generated over 3 billion dollars domestically.  And will likely continue to air for the next 50 plus years.  The second type is called “1st run”, which means that the program premiered in syndication, and not on one of the networks.  Historically, the most successful 1st run show is “Oprah”, domestically easily averaging over 100 million dollars annually, during it’s 25 year syndication run.

Now for the very first time, there is a new entry into the syndication gold mine.  Youtube, one of the major social media platforms has become a player in the syndication marketplace.  Just recently, President Obama touting the Affordable Care Act, utilized Youtube to pitch those millennials not reached by traditional media platforms.  The result was an incredible increase of plus 40% in traffic the very next day.  In addition, The NFL just recently signed a deal to stream game highlights and commentary on their own Youtube channel.   As you should know, The NFL is the most expensive media content in the world.  For example, parent company Walt Disney pays over $100 million, for each weekly installment of ESPN Monday Night Football.  The deal not only legitimizes Youtube as a viable alternative to television as we know it.  It opens the door for Youtube to complete future deals with MLB, Nascar, and The NBA.    Once again allowing the owners of media content to maximize the value within yet another platform.

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