Getting a TV series Syndicated
by Nate Boston on Jun 20, 2013 at 5:32:59 pm
I have a TV series about craft beer that I'd like make available for syndication (Nationally or Internationally). The only problem is I'm not sure how to do that. Do any of you have experience with this?
Re: Getting a TV series Syndicated by Bill Davis on Jun 20, 2013 at 11:45:28 pm
How deep are your pockets?
Ideas are 10 a penny. Full blown concepts are a dime a dozen. Produced pilots are maybe 10 bucks a dozen.
What is valuable are two things in general. Fully produced multi-show content that meets network broadcast standards is the lessor of the "big two" valuable commodities - since it can instantly fill a timeslot on an operators schedule. Whether it goes anywhere from there is based on whether the show concept is currently "in vogue" or not.
But that secondary driver pales in comparison to the number one and most critical thing that's important in the syndicated TV business. That's an iron clad contract with a deep pocket SPONSOR who's willing to shovel money into a project. If you have THAT set up - everything else is easy. Without that everything else is astonishingly difficult.
Like I said, ideas are a dime a dozen. What creates the value is a fully funded system in place to turn the idea into a multi-episode real show without going bankrupt. That means contracts with everyone from talent to crew to a demonstrated ability to do it all from securing locatons to getting the edit and delivery stuff right - not just once. But on a rigid schedule to delivery around 13 or 26 episodes a season.
And by the way, while you might honestly have a killer idea - there's no guarantee that Anheuser Busch/InBev or the Modelo SA won't decide that they'd like to compete with your "craft beer show" idea - and "big foot" you right off the playing field.
Syndication is very much a "big players" game. And it's damn difficult to compete in it without the financial backing to run with the big dogs.
Sorry not to be more positive. But that's kinda the real world out there.
Source: 25 years in and around the TV business and 15 years sitting on the board of directors of a 501(c)3 charity that's been putting on a fundraising craft beer festival for longer than that. So I've had various aspects of this conversation with a wide range of industry insiders, large and small, for more than a decade.
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