Streaming Services' Syndication Money for TV Classics

Where Lucy and Ricky will live forever

Streaming Services' Syndication Money for TV Classics
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in I Love Lucy
Photograph by Everett Collection

Streaming-video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime once looked like mortal threats to syndication revenue for television networks and movie studios. Instead, the content owners have found deep-pocketed new customers. In June, Amazon.com shelled out about $200 million to license 4,000 old TV episodes from Viacom, which owns classics such as I Love Lucy and more-contemporary shows such like crime drama CSI. For studios and networks, this streaming revenue is growing at double-digit rates, says Bloomberg Industries analyst Paul Sweeney. “It’s been kind of found money for them.”

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