Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Economics

Advisor

Maloney, Michael T

Committee Member

Tollison , Robert D

Committee Member

Thomas , Charles J

Abstract

Syndication is a major factor in the market for television programming. These papers analyze the effects of the off-network syndication market on prime time programming decisions that are made by broadcast networks. The first paper investigates the effects of the off-network syndication (rerun) market on the optimal number of seasons for a prime time television series. The theoretical model predicts that syndication could potentially either increase the number of seasons if the price elasticity of demand for syndication is elastic or vice versa. The empirical analysis consists of a duration model and estimates the effects of first run ratings and syndication on the probability that the show will not be cancelled in that season. The second paper proposes that the removal of the Financial Interest and Syndication Rules in 1995 changed the incentives for the networks to air more reality programming even if these programs are less popular and receive lower ratings than dramatic programs. This hypothesis is evaluated using a model borrowed from Wildman and Robinson (1995), a profit maximization model as well as a stock and flow model to help explain the timing of the shift. A simple t-test does show that the average amount of reality programming is significantly different (and higher) after the Fin-Syn Rules were revoked. In addition, the regression analysis indicates that there is a shift in the number of seasons that the average syndicated program is aired during the first run.

Included in

Economics Commons

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