Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Digitise and syndicate!

Through the years, Kenyan television stations have treated us to a wide variety of programming from the worst of the worst to the best and they continue to do so.
It is by no means, a mean feat especially in an industry like ours where creativity is in abundance but rarely gets to be showcased and so the little that manages to sieve through must be preserved.
And that is where the problem arises. The word syndication is as foreign in the our TV stations as the word decency in our politicians.
From Tahamaki to Vitimbi, Vioja Mahakamani, Vituko, Tushauriane, Kisulisuli, Better Days and many others, once they have been pulled off air, you all know that no matter how a hardcore fan you were of them, you will never see them again.
Even some of the programs that we are enjoying now will fall off the face of the earth after their runs are over and new programs take their slot.
In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast shows to multiple individual stations, without going through a broadcast network.
For example, a program like Churchill Live can be broadcast on KTN, Citizen or any other channels once NTV is done with it.
Problem is, with the way our television is organised, I doubt that can happen because they never share even news items!
So, how else can the stations ensure that popular programs stay on for years after their broadcast sell by date? Simple, have them available on DvD!
We all get to watch programs like Prison Break, Lost, Burn Notice, How I met your mother, Boondocks even when they are still being broadcast right? That’s what I’m talking about.
Very many us still remember programs like Tushauriane with nostalgia so can you guess how many would rush to get a copy of the program’s DvD? Its money in the bank for KBC!
We all watch re-runs of shows like The Jeffersons, Mind your language, Sanford and Son and still laugh at the jokes years after they stopped production so I don’t know why I can’t watch Kenyan programs or even have them as a collector’s item.
Reddykyulass proved that syndication means loads of money and I’m sure a few will follow the same path.
There are three kinds of syndication; First-run which refers to programming that is broadcast for the first time as a syndicated show, Off-network, the sale of a program that was originally run on network television: a rerun and Public-broadcasting.
Let’s keep the few gems we have around not in the stations vaults but in our homes. Whose with me?

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