The syndication deals that put “Seinfeld” on your television screen a dozen times a day are big business. The package of episodes was recently sold for the third “cycle” to television stations across the country. According to TV Week, in 1998, TBS Superstation paid nearly a million dollars per episode to show the series. Overall, “Seinfeld” is expected to rake in about $3,000,000,000 by the start of the next decade.
The off-network syndication run of “Seinfeld” is expected to generate between $6.5 million and $7 million per episode in broadcast syndication for its third cycle. Sources said that in Los Angeles, where “Seinfeld” runs on KCOP-TV as part of a Fox duopoly and currently receives a license fee of about $480,000 per episode, the third cycle will generate about $425,000. With 180 episodes available and an advertising market that is picking up, that supplies an impressive cash flow to the studio.
I enjoyed “Seinfeld” during it’s initial run, but once in syndication — like most programs — I’ll watch once through then never watch again. The way syndication works now — stripping two episodes a day all week — means that you burn through shows so quickly that you see them again within a month or so. Don’t people get tired of the same old episodes over and over and over and over?