Garrett Wollman
Tue May 14 23:56:23 EDT 2013

<<On Tue, 14 May 2013 14:26:41 -0400, "M. Casey" <> said:

> Can you tell some of us, less savvy about legacy TV media folks, what 
> residuals are and how they affect and/or allow or disallow reruns. Seems to 
> me, in order to produce a continued income stream, that the owners of these 
> old shows would want to sell them as many times as they could. Why would 
> blackouts have to occur unless the rights were currently leased in some 
> markets?

The contracts the production companies signed with the actors and
other talent on various TV shows, starting in the 1970s, gave the
producers syndication rights for a fixed fee (residual) per airing,
but only for a limited number of airings per market.  If the producer
wants to offer a program after it has used up the original rebroadcast
rights, it must go back to the original talent (or their estates) and
get permission for additional showings.  If a show is popular enough
to run out of airings, the talent may wish to demand more money than
their contracts originally called for, particularly if they are still
performing and in demand, and in any case it's a lot of hassle for the
producer -- or seventeen copyright owners down the chain of mergers
and takeovers and bankruptcies -- to locate the current
representatives of all the people who may have residual rights in a
production to get their agreement, even if all are totally willing to
continue the previous arrangement.  This is a feature of the contracts
used by the Hollywood unions, and not something inherent in
broadcast syndication.  Shows produced before these contracts began to
be used -- which generally means that they were produced before
syndication became a profitable business in its own right -- don't
have such limits, but those shows are now quite old and have a very
limited audience.


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