New TV Programming Study: Cable Up, Syndication Down, International Revived


There’s good news and bad news in the TV programming and syndication biz. The rise of cable networks has increased original series production, but the decline in sitcom hits has reduced station syndication prices because no big hits have developed recently. Says Deana Myers, senior analyst for SNL Kagan, “As a result, deal prices are not as high as they were five years ago. But on the flip side, we are seeing much higher prices on secondary cycles of Seinfeld and Friends.” So concludes a new study from SNL Kagan. Big network hits such as Lost, Desperate Housewives, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami have delivered record licensing deals overseas. But that success has not spread to lesser hits, spelling modest overall revenue growth for the entire industry. Yet international markets are again seeking out U.S. programming after years of looking to local sources for their content. And, over the next 10 years, international revenues from television series could increase at an annual rate of about 4.3%.

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