Syndication TV Upfront Market Nearly 50% Sold

The syndication TV upfront marketplace is about 50 percent complete heading into the weekend and is expected to take in around $2 billion, down about 20 percent from last year, with cost-per-thousand rates averaging between -1 and -9 percent.

“The syndication marketplace is pretty much mirroring the broadcast upfront,” said one syndication sales executive, who did not want to speak for attribution. “Now that broadcast is pretty much done, we expect syndication negotiations to move a little quicker, and [they] should be wrapped up by the end of next week.”

Off-network sitcoms and daytime talk shows continue to draw the most interest from media buyers, while game shows, which skew older, are being hurt a little by cutbacks in the pharmaceutical category in particular, sources familiar with the negotiations said.

“In this type of economy, buyers are looking for value added, and that is helping drive business to daytime talk shows like Regis & Kelly and Ellen that can offer brand integrations,” said one source familiar with the negotiations.

Another source said, “Buyers want the top-tier shows, and what’s slowing down negotiations is that the syndicators want to package those shows will lesser tier shows that clients may not be as interested in. But that’s what happens every year.”