H’wood battles for finsyn

The financial interest and syndication rules should be preserved and strengthened until at least 1999, Hollywood producers argued to the FCC last week.

The comments submitted by Hollywood’s finsyn coalition came as the FCC launches a review of plans to phase out studios’ favorite set of regulations in November. For more than two decades, the regs prevented the Big Three networks from taking a financial stake in or reaping syndication coin from primetime programs produced by studios.

Hollywood’s finsyn coalition claims neither rule should change until at least 1999. The group claimed the Big Three has not as promised increased financing and programming opportunities for smaller producers, thus resulting in a dearth of program diversity. Moreover, program license fees have fallen while the networks have hiked their own in-house production, the Hollywood coalition claimed.

For their part, the Big Three networks urged the FCC to eliminate the remaining remnants of finsyn immediately rather than wait until November.

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