Fremantle sells classic gamer

Debmar-Mercury has acquired the rights to 30-year-old gameshow “Family Feud” from producer FremantleMedia North America.

Company, headed by co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, secured domestic syndication distribution rights to “Feud,” previously distributed by Tribune.

Deal gives Debmar-Mercury, which also distributes “South Park” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” its first daytime offering, broadening the portfolio of programming it can offer stations.

“‘Family Feud’ is an important project for us. Not only is it one of the longest-running gameshows, but it also represents one of the strongest brands in television,” Bernstein said.

Deal, which begins in September, gives Debmar-Mercury ad sales and distribution rights to “Feud,” including cash and 90 seconds of national ad time per day.

The gameshow, now hosted by John O’Hurley, had been distributed by Tribune Entertainment Co., which will continue to handle distribution and ad sales until the start of the new deal. “Feud” had been one of Tribune’s biggest syndication properties.

Bernstein said the show, now in its seventh season of syndication, will be the distributor’s only offering for daytime and early fringe. “It doesn’t compete with anything else we’re doing,” he said.

In addition to “South Park” and the firstrun comedy “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” Debmar-Mercury owns distribution rights to “The Surreal Life,” Sci Fi Channel’s “Farscape,” USA Network’s “The Dead Zone” and “National Geographic’s Really Wild Animals,” as well as Lionsgate films.

Company was acquired by Lionsgate earlier this year.

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