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Changing Meaning of Quick TV Syndication

AdAge reports that syndication, as far as the big TV networks are concerned, has traditionally meant distributing reruns of successful shows, four or five years down the road, to local stations. But the TV business is nontraditional now, and the very meaning of syndication is changing.

The syndication concept is spilling into such new-media platforms as broadband, video-on-demand, iTunes and mobile video. No longer does a show have to rack up 100 episodes before plans are made to take it off-network. There's still a time delay in the new syndication, but it can be hours instead of years, as when an episode runs on the network and is available later that same day for download on an iPod.

Advertisers and local TV stations may fret that this new form of syndication could diminish the allure of programs when they eventually take the conventional path off-network. But advocates of moving content quickly to new platforms point out that such tactics can expand the fan base and keep viewers interested in a show, making the program more appealing when it moves to local stations years later.

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