Warner Bros. has sold the second off-net cycle of Friends to the Tribune station group, sources say. Tribune is currently the major home for the show's first off-net syndication cycle.
At this point, it's unclear what the specific terms were for the deal, which insiders say actually quietly closed last week. But last week's terrorist attacks could have overshadowed these developments. However, the syndication world has had a close eye on how the Friends second cycle deal would play out.
Since starting its second cycle Friends pitch in March, Warner Bros. had been looking for the same record-breaking license fees that Seinfeld got in its second cycle - $350,000 a per week in fees in top markets New York and Los Angeles. In its first go-round, Friends was said to command $275,000 in the top markets. But with today's current tight economic climate, Tribune may have ammunition in negotiating prices in its favor.
Still Friends is currently the top-ranked off-net sitcom, which could have helped Warner Bros. steer the deal in its favor. - Susanne Ault