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Special Report: NATPE – Availability Of Tv Time A Concern That’s Increasing

The recent launches of UPN and WB Kids networks have further tightened an already competitive market for kid-directed broadcast time. And with new alliances in the offing between such major players as Disney and Capitol Cities/ABC, and Time Warner and Turner...
January 1, 1996

The recent launches of UPN and WB Kids networks have further tightened an already competitive market for kid-directed broadcast time. And with new alliances in the offing between such major players as Disney and Capitol Cities/ABC, and Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting, the availability of broadcast time is bound to be a major concern at this year’s as well as future NATPE markets.

Brian Lacey, International Marketing, 4 Kids

‘There’s a tremendous number of kids’ programs out in syndication, network and cable, and that makes it very hard to establish some level of awareness for your property because of the competition. Look at a successful kids program in syndication today and it might be a 2.5 national household rating number. Five years ago, even eight years ago, 2.5 was not a big number. Today you’re doing well if you’ve reached that rating.’

Ira Misken, Executive Producer, The Nicholas Frank Company

‘It’s a thorny issue right now because the children’s syndication market this past year has been less than favorable. Viewership ratings in the children’s market across the board are down and I think there’s going to be an interesting shake-out with respect to what programs we’re going to be able to bring to the syndicated children’s market. It’s going to be a complicated market for children this year. A lot of things have changed in the past year or so, with Disney and WB leaving a very heavy footprint. Two new networks that have begun to form themselves, UPN and WB, with the extraordinary dominance of Fox and their children’s network, and with NBC being out of the [pre-teen] children’s business d’esn’t leave a whole lot of space to sell Saturday morning programming and strip programming. So this market is going to be fairly interesting this season.’

Russ Barry, Chairman, Turner

Program Services

‘The limited number of independent stations is going to put a squeeze on people. The price to play is high and I see it getting worse. There’s already one network out of

the [pre-teen] kids business on Saturday morning.’

Bob Siegal, General Manager Cable and Syndicated Programming, DIC Entertainment

‘Basically there are fewer and fewer independent stations out there and many of them are either WB or UPN affiliates. Both of these new networks are now getting very heavily into kids. So you find there is less and less room for your shows on the other schedules. I can’t tell you how much time I spend – and I’m one guy working for one production company – trying to show them [the independent stations] what has worked in other markets and what would work in theirs. The reality is that in many cases there is little that they can do because so much is dictated from upstairs from whatever network they’re affiliated with. It just makes it really hard.’

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