> 3- The fact that the marginal cost of re-runs is zero (or very
> near) is also
> important. (As a side note, one should probably consider that advertising
> revenues might be higher for new programming; but the question of
> whether a
> new episode of <insert some marginal program here> is worth more than a
> re-run of <insert ultra-popular show here> is a separate one which has
> probably been looked at elsewhere. )  Can anyone help me here?

I used to purchase programming for a TV company in Turkey, and at least for
foreign markets the re-runs of popular shows (popularity measured by the
ratings in that territory, not in the US) are far above the new episode of a
marginal program. It has been almost 10 years so I do not remember a lot of
names and prices, but for example I remember purchasing "mad about you" for
about $6,000 per episode (which did not have any appeal to Turkish
audiences) rather than purchasing reruns of "picket fences" which did
extremely well. In addition, for the Turkish market, all material is dubbed.
Dubbing is an expensive service, even in Turkey where there are really thin
markets for professional actors, it costs about 2,000-3,000 per 30 minute
episode of an average sitcom; and reruns (which are not obviously dubbed
again) of picket fences still did not make sense.

> 4- Intuitively, it might seem as if the networks have an excess capacity
> problem (not using their studios in the summer).  Maybe the studios and
> background workers who would be more apt to work "year round" are used to
> make TV movies in the off season.

I think networks do not produce a lot of sitcoms or entertainment programs.
They generally only produce news programs or things like 60/60. Producing is
also very expensive, even when the company does not have to pay for a big
star. Look how CNN cheers when they could spend the whole day with live
broadcast of one disaster or the other.


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