Tribune-owned WPIX New York late last week grabbed the off-net sitcom “Frasier” in a three-way bidding war against Chris-Craft’s WWOR and Fox-owned WNYW.
Neither Paramount nor WPIX would comment on the price, but industry sources estimated the show fetched about $115,000 per week, or roughly $200,000 per episode (the per-episode price is higher because the 169-week deal covers only 96-100 episodes; each season beyond the fourth adds 39 weeks to the term).
After Tribune, Chris-Craft was believed to have been the most aggressive Gotham bidder. The Fox station, which is flush with a number of expensive off-net sitcoms, is said to have put in a bid at Par’s minimum $100,000-per-week “floor” price just in case no one else submitted an offer.
Par, though, is offering stations the option to double-run “Frasier” beginning in the deal’s second year, with an extra 260 runs. That could push the price closer to “Seinfeld’s” Big Apple take of $135,000 per week, or $227,500 per episode. The syndie is holding back a minute of barter time, which could add $1 mil per episode.
Minimum for “Frasier” in L.A. also is $100,000 per week. Initial bids were due Sept. 22, with the two-round process expected to end by Sept. 25. The same three corporate players also could be contenders in L.A. Syndie is set to inform Chicago stations of its minimum asking price this week.