Tribune Stations Renew ‘Seinfeld’ Through 2011

Mar 1, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Hot on the heels of a “Seinfeld” renewal on key Fox stations, Sony Pictures Television has added a splash of Tribune to the list of stations on board to carry the strip through 2011.
Sources said the seven Tribune stations that currently carry “Seinfeld” have all renewed for the third cycle, which begins in 2008. Among the markets where Tribune will carry the show are Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Calif., Grand Rapids, Mich., Harrisburg-Lancaster-York, Pa., Indianapolis and Hartford, Conn.
In addition, “Seinfeld” earned renewals from Cox’s San Francisco station KTVU-TV and Viacom’s Seattle outlet WSTW-TV, bringing the clearance level for renewals to more than 50 percent of the country. The off-network strip is now expected to approach a value of $3 billion by the time the third cycle ends.
The deal will also help those Tribune stations solidify their lineups into the next decade, especially after losing King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” to the Fox stations. In the near future, the entire Tribune station group is expected to make a play for NBC’s reality off-net series “Fear Factor” for the upcoming season as well as Buena Vista’s “According to Jim” for fall 2006. In addition, the station group has “Sex and the City” and “My Wife and Kids” in the pipeline for future seasons.
“Seinfeld” is, however, considered a ratings lock and with a declining pipeline of off-net A-list product in the next few years, maintaining series such as “Seinfeld” and “Raymond” has become a priority for some stations.
All 19 of the Fox owned-and-operated stations that currently air the strip have renewed, and license fees are estimated to be about 80 percent to 90 percent of what the distributor received for its second cycle-and higher than what analysts projected a few years ago.
“Seinfeld,” which was produced by Castle Rock TV, has averaged a 6.1 national household rating this season between its broadcast and cable runs, according to Nielsen Media Research.