Games stoke syndie sizzle

'Raymond,' 'Seinfeld' lead off-net ratings

More people watched “Jeopardy!” in syndication during the July sweeps than CBS’ “CSI: Miami,” and more viewers sampled the syndie “Wheel of Fortune” than NBC’s “Law & Order” in primetime.

Those were some of the eye-opening results of a Nielsen analysis by the Syndicated National TV Assn., the research arm of the barter-syndication business.

While the household ratings of the six broadcast networks plunged 36% in July compared with the regular season (October through May), TV syndication dropped only 4%.

Seven of the top 25-rated series in July were syndicated skeins, both firstrun and off-network, according to Nielsen’s gross-average-audience household data: “Jeopardy!” (9.0 rating; second overall), “Wheel of Fortune” (8.3; fifth), “Everybody Loves Raymond” (6.6; 12th), “Seinfeld” (6.5; 14th), “Judge Judy” (6.3; 16th), “Friends” (6.0; 18th) and “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (5.9; 22nd).

Mitch Burg, president of SNTA, said that these seven shows gave TV syndication more top 25 shows than ABC and NBC combined.

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