For those of you wondering about the Chicago PD off-network rights, we come today bearing some extremely good news!
According to a new report coming in at the moment via Deadline, USA Network and Oxygen have snatched off-network rights for the NBC drama, which effectively allows them to run however many repeats of the show that they want. The deal is non-exclusive, which means that the network and Wolf Films can still find other prospective syndication homes for the show. The license fee is apparently a respectable $500,000 an episode, which is great in 2017 where syndication is not the ratings beast that it once was. There are so many different ways in which people now can watch TV, though there is still something rather comfortable about turning on your TV and watching a show like Chicago PD while taking care of some things around the house.
For those wondering how the new deals are going to work, USA Network will start airing Chicago PD with a marathon on Sunday, October 1 of the first season; from there, they will do Friday marathons of the show beginning on October 6. The series is already available on its Video On-Demand service and streaming apps if you’re interested in checking out old episodes at your leisure. Meanwhile, Oxygen will do things a little bit differently, and is going to air marathons on Tuesday beginning with the most-recent season on October 3, less than one week after when the show actually premieres season 5 on NBC. Oxygen will stream and launch the show on its Video On-Demand service early next year.
So … why does this matter if you’re a diehard fan of the show and already have seen every episode multiple times? There are two immediate benefits that we can see here at CarterMatt.
1. Ratings – Getting more opportunities for viewers to see the show is tremendous for building ratings. We firmly believe that syndication is what made NCIS and The Big Bang Theory into two of TV’s most-watched shows, and given that they are still on the air, it proves that getting off-network viewing is still important. Even if Chicago PD loses 5-10% of its standard audience base for season 5, maybe it can make up the difference with viewers who discover the show for the first time on cable only to pop over to NBC to watch new episodes live.
2. Money – One of the long-term concerns over the future of the One Chicago franchise was finding a way to monetize them via syndication. This helps to compensate for the higher salaries that come when a show goes deep into a run. Chicago Fire still doesn’t have a syndication deal despite entering season 6, and we firmly believe that concerns over off-network revenue is one of the reasons why Chicago Justice ended when it did. In an era where there are fewer viewers watching a show live, you need to compensate for it via other means.
What do you make of the new Chicago PD off-network rights?
Do you think that USA and Oxygen are the right homes for the show? Be sure to share in the comments!
Meanwhile, visit the link here to see our CarterMatt Premiere Wishlist piece for Chicago PD, as that gives you a sense as to what we want to see happen at the start of season 5. (Photo: NBC.)