Multi-Platform Syndication Models

Fox Entertainment’s cult-followed TV series “Arrested Development” just got a multi-platform syndication deal. The show will air in rich media format on MSN; hi-definition on HDNet; and cable on video game-focused channel G4. All three seasons, 53 episodes, will be available with this distribution deal.

It was previously believed that syndication wouldn’t work because it would deteriorate relationships with U.S. and foreign markets. The release on three platforms shows an evolution to syndication models. Broadcast companies are willing to pay for syndication rights even with content freely available on the Web. Increasingly networks are moving content to the Web either on their own sites or through distribution deals. Even Fox this week expanded an existing distribution deal with video-sharing site vMix .

For Fox Entertainment and “Arrested Development” the question is whether any of these platforms will grow the audience that the Fox network couldn’t establish.

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