Strong Syndie Scatter Seen


Syndication is benefiting from strong demand for broadcast TV ad time and its the third quarter scatter market is almost finished with price hikes in the mid-teens (or higher) above upfront rates.

"Syndication in third quarter is pretty much sold out," said Jason Kanefsky, VP, national broadcast, MPG, "with increases between 15% and 20%."

Kanefsky added that August is usually tight for syndication because that's when sellers tend to fulfill their make good obligations for the first and second quarters.

Ed Gentner, senior VP/group director, MediaVest, said that "There are some pockets of avails in September but it's relatively tight. New syndicated programs are starting earlier in September and syndicators will see how the shows track. If they under-deliver they will take inventory out of sale for make goods."

Bob Flood, executive vice president, director of national electronic media, Optimedia, agreed, but added those numbers reflect only the "good stuff such as Friends and Seinfeld."

Some shows received scatter price hikes in high single digits, Flood said. "We did a lot of stuff well in advance of the upfront."

"Third quarter pacing slowed down because buyers are taking a break and there's not a ton to buy out there," noted Andy Donchin, senior VP director of national broadcast, Carat. "Syndication had a good year last year and is having a better year this year."

"We are way ahead of last year," said Bob Cesa, executive VP advertising sales, Twentieth Television. "I have a miniscule amount of inventory left." Hot categories: back to school, movie companies, electronics, pharmaceuticals, automotive and video games.