Syndication as branding

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Syndicator Byron Allen is headed for the information superhighway, and he plans on using syndicated TV to get people to follow him.

Allen' s Los Angeles-based CF Entertainment, which produces and distributes such syndicated shows as Entertainers and American Athlete, plans to launch an online entertainment network and superstore on April 22. Allen says Entertainmentstudios.com will boast more than 1 million items for sale or auction-from CDs, DVDs and movie tickets to memorabilia, such as furniture from Sylvester Stallone's home. It will also feature downloadable clips from CF shows.

To drive traffic to the site, Allen is offering TV stations a free half-hour syndicated celebrity interview strip.

He is also signing up stations to add a link to Entertainmentstudios.com on their Web sites. In exchange, stations get 5% of e-commerce proceeds that can be tracked back to their sites. At least 17 stations have agreed to add the link, including WNDS-TV Boston.

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