'Seinfeld' second-cycle steamrolls off-net bidding
Amid intense speculation over who may win and for how much, Columbia TriStar TV Distribution formally opened the bidding process Monday among New York TV stations for second-cycle rerun rights to “Seinfeld” beginning in 2001. Sources say the bidding in the nation’s top TV market for the hotly contested sitcom should be wrapped up by the end of this month. CTTD is said to be seeking an eye-popping license fee of $250,000 to $300,000 per week for the show, or about double what the “show about nothing” now goes for in New York. That’s an unprecedented pricetag for any off-network package, let alone for a series that will have already been airing in reruns for six years by the time the second-cycle kicks in. Station sources discounted speculation that Gotham’s “Seinfeld” incumbent WPIX had already been outbid for the show by Fox O&O WNYW, noting that the formal bidding process has just begun. The “Seinfeld” second-cycle steamroller is expected to shift coasts to the L.A. market once a New York deal is sealed. Stay tuned.