Syndication Indication Innovation

Syndicated television holds a very special place in the society today.  TV has taken over in a role of the average person’s day.  As a child I’d watch Pokemon reruns on KidsWB and now I watch the hilarious hosting on Family Feud with Steve Harvey.  People often have a misconception of indie film because of the indie film industry.  People see indie film as pushing the boundaries and naturally expect indie television to follow their lead.  However, even though indie TV doesn’t push the edge, it is still indie.
TV Family Feud

In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very nature.  The nature of network TV is conscious to create familiarity and stability in its attempts to have syndication.  Basically, create a show that a viewer can jump into without having to watch every episode or “fringe” such as a talk show or sitcom show.  Most of these syndications appeal to the masses of families, minorities, and low income homes, or put simply people who have the time to watch these shows.  “The programs themselves are relegated to parts of the schedule long described in industry vernacular as “fringe”: late weekday mornings and afternoons, late weeknights, and scattered across the weekend- in other words, outside the time that “matters”.  Moreover, and most tellingly, advertisers, studios, and analysts have historically regarded the presumed viewers of syndicated programs as themselves “fringe”: stay-at-home mothers, racial minorities, children, elderly shut-ins, disaffected white men, and low-income households.” (Kompare 55-56)

What syndication does is set up a stable product for the networks running the syndicated programs to bring in viewership.  Syndication builds stability and appeal that everyone can relate and enjoy.  Indie television has been pushing the boundaries and innovations since the 1950s and will continue to for the decades to come.  With the rise of Netflix, syndicated shows that were maybe by some considered dead, are appealing to the masses.  In Aymar Jean Christian’s article “Indie TV and the Value of Post-Network“, he explains “Studios and networks expressed anxiety about the loss of control, with some reason. Competition is stiffer and customers more empowered. HBO, which led the cable unbundling, now has a competitor in Netflix, which has plans to exceed the premium channel’s investments in original programming. And this year fans outsmarted a studio (Warner Brothers), who assumed Veronica Mars was a dead franchise with little value left.”




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