TV syndication ad sales are up sharply from a year ago, much to the relief
of sales executives who endured their worst season ever last year.
This year, it's a different story. Gene DeWitt, president of the Syndicated
Network Television Association, estimated that the syndication-upfront market is
up 18 percent in total-dollar volume, to about $2 billion from last year's $1.7
The record was 2000's $2.4 billion.
Sellers said that on average, they sold 75 percent of their inventory in the
upfront, leaving the rest for potential make-goods and the scatter market.
That's a dramatic change from last year, when most distributors sold no more
than 45 percent of their available inventory in the upfront.
Buyers confirmed that syndication bounced back significantly.
'I would say the syndication guys have to be pretty happy,' said Tom DeCabia,
executive vice president and general manager of PHD New York.
'The entire broadcast market is up from last year,' he
added. 'Hopefully, it continues or stays right where it is, because that's good
for the business and good for the economy.'