In the last 50 years television has undergone many global changes and grown into several nationwide TV networks capable of covering huge target audience. Lately the tendency has developed to strictly segment this audience thus giving advertisers more chance to reach their particular target markets without spending money on ineffective mass advertising. TV stations were able to attract more of regional and small local advertisers. However, this tendency has decreased the advertising revenues of nationwide networks and made them concerned about their future.
Still, there is a bright perspective for a TV business, and this perspective is TV syndicating. It started as a small source of additional income for TV product development companies. They have started to produce high rating programs and sell them to various TV stations and networks. The appearance of the great number of independent stations that broadcast 24 hours a day has resulted in the immense increase of the demand for such programs.
There are three main categories of syndicated programs:
1) 10 top blockbusters that include reruns of such shows as Friends and first runs of some popular shows like Jeopardy or Entertainment Tonight;
2) certain TV programs that have large audience of loyal viewers;
3) various talk shows and less popular programs with lower ratings.
Advertising in syndicated programs costs a lot more than in other programs. Some stations sign long term contracts with manufacturers of syndicated programs to have permanent access to their products. In 2000 the amount of advertising dollars spent on syndicated programs reached 2.5 billions.
This sphere of business continues to grow and develop. Many advertisers are interested in such programs no less than TV stations because they allow reaching new segments of target markets while still covering the mass audience. Researches show that syndication will soon outrun cable TV in covering the audience of viewers.
Many stations buy enough syndicated programs to show them on a daily basis, Monday through Friday. This is called Striping. Multiple shows allow these stations to form the audience of loyal viewers and set up long term sales of advertising time in these programs.
The demand for syndicated programs grows, and they become more and more popular because they increase the advertising income of local and regional stations. If cooperation with nationwide TV networks allows local stations to sell about 1 minute of advertising time on a show or a program, in syndicated programs local stations can sell some 6 to 12 minutes of advertising time. It all depends on the exchange terms. Thus, a syndicated program does not have to have very high ratings to bring much income to the station.
TV syndicating has a great perspective and is a dangerous competitor to TV national networks. It is a very powerful promotional tool for advertisers to consider.