Tribune Broadcasting’s KTLA-TV has won the contest for “Seinfeld” reruns in Los Angeles, with a winning bid just over the floor price of $ 130,000 per week or $ 220,000 per episode set by distributor Columbia TriStar TV Distribution, according to market and industry sources.
While “Seinfeld” distrib Col/TriStar TV Distribution may have met its floor price, the bidding did not appear to be as spirited as it was last week in New York.
In that market, Tribune’s sister station WPIX-TV paid between $ 140,000 and $ 150,000 per week or $ 238,000-$ 255,000 per episode for 108 episodes over 182 weeks starting in fall 1995.Pushing the New York price even higher was the fact that Tribune and Fox-owned WNYW-TV tied, and a second round of bids had to be submitted.
With L.A. having more players in the market, Col/TriStar probably bet on a higher price. But a bad economy and the New York appeal of the show meant scattered L.A. bidding by the five stations that wanted “Seinfeld.”
Some Los Angeles bids came in way under the $ 130,000 floor price, with at least one station executive calling the pricing “outrageous” and doubting that Col/TriStar met its goal.
Col/TriStar TV Distribution head Barry Thurston had no comment on what KTLA paid for the show, adding only that, like New York, the market was aggressive.
Besides bids from Chris-Craft’s KCOP-TV, Fox Broadcasting’s KTTV-TV and Disney’s KCAL-TV, Col/TriStar also got a surprise bid from CBS-owned KCBS-TV, which is prohibited by FCC rules from airing off-network reruns in the prime access period of 7 p.m.-8 p.m.
Like NBC-owned WNBC-TV New York, though, the network affil did not let Federal Communication Commission rules stand in the way of making a bid. Both stations are probably figuring that by fall 1995, the FCC prohibitions against them will be relaxed. If that does not happen, both stations may be sending signals that they are prepared torun shows in the 6:30 time slot, otherwise known as triple access.
KTLA general manager Greg Nathanson said he would probably run “Seinfeld” in the 7-7:30 time slot starting in fall ’95.