Syndication Market Shrinks, Fewer Choices On Fall Schedule

The U.S. syndication market continues to have few new choices, according to a recent analysis.

“Syndicated offerings for fall 2018 are scarce — much more so than last season,” per a report from Stacey Lynn Schulman, executive vice president, strategy, analytics and research for Katz Media Group, the big TV station sales rep.

This is especially true for high-profile weekday programs.

Katz says only three new first-run Monday-to-Friday shows have a shot at making it onto local TV stations' schedules this fall, according to Katz panel of local TV viewers. They are: Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “Last Laugh” with “Glee”-alum Jane Lynch; Lionsgate’ Debmar-Mercury's court show “Caught in Providence” and CBS Television Distribution’s daytime talker “Face the Truth.”

So far, only one show, “Caught in Providence,” has announced a deal with a major TV station group -- Fox Television Stations. Major market TV station groups are the lynchpin to getting syndication shows launched.

Weekday and weekly off-network sitcoms continue to yield the most adult 25-54 TV viewers' gross rating points for TV advertisers — with a 21% share for Monday-to-Friday sitcoms and 25% for weekly half-hour sitcoms.

But this area is wanting. “While sitcoms do make up the highest percentages across the board, we continue to be concerned with the apparent lack of potential new successful blue-chip network sitcoms in the syndicated programming pipeline,” says the report.

Next comes weekly hours, comprising a 17% share of all 25-54 gross rating points. Talk shows (Monday through Friday) are at 10%; game shows, 9%; magazine and court shows each with 8% share; and reality and true crime shows, each with 1%.

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