TNT/TBS to bring syndication online

By May 30, 2007

According to a report in Broadcasting & Cable, these two Turner networks plan to begin offering every episode of each of their original series up for online streaming the day after the show airs. A lot of broadcasters have done this to varying degrees in the past, but never an entire season and never for their full line-up.

From the article:

Broadcast and cable networks alike have fought to broker streaming deals with studios outside their corporate families. The studios have been wary of disrupting proven revenue streams by dipping a toe into the digital domain; they rely on DVD and syndication sales to make back the millions they front to the networks to fund the shows.

Studios and operators may be more open to streaming because broadcast networks, and a few cable networks that have streamed shows, have seen that streaming actually builds TV viewing. Disney Channel, for example, inaugurated its broadband player last year by premiering an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody online before its TV debut. That episode became the most-viewed in an entire block when it premiered on TV.

The last paragraph also points to the probable future trend for airing pilots and other shows online before they’re broadcast on TV. The online reception to new shows can serve as yet another early barometer for a show’s potential success and following.

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