Update 9/16:, Variety is now reporting that while Fox was paid well for the syndication rights to "Mother", it did not get as much as it was seeking.
Broadcast prime time advertising can rake in some cash, but there's still a lot of money in syndication. Variety is reporting that How I Met Your Mother may net upwards of $350 million in its first syndication cycle. Keep in mind, that first cycle runs four years. Also of note is that they promise to deliver 110 half hours in 2010 and there will only be 90 episodes produced by the end of the fourth season (2008-2009) so this pretty much ensures that barring disaster that Mother will be renewed for next season to meet that goal of 110. Plus, CBS can tack on fees if it delivers more episodes so reasonably, in such a sellers market for syndicated comedies we can probably expect at least another two seasons after this year.
One of the most spirited auctions in the past couple of years has turned Twentieth TV's "How I Met Your Mother" into a potential nonstop revenue machine, whose reruns are poised to harvest upward of $350 million in its first cycle.
At least three station groups -- Tribune, Fox and CBS -- have ponied up bids in some or all of the first seven cities opened by the distributor: N.Y., L.A., Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston and Washington. Twentieth could disclose the identity of the winning bidders in the various cities as early as Wednesday.
In cable, the bidders include TBS, Lifetime, ABC Family, FX, Comedy Central and Spike. The cable deal will take longer to close because it encompasses two separate exposures of the series. The first is the standard 12 runs a week that kicks off in fall 2010, when cable will share the plays with TV stations. The second comprises two extra runs each week in advance of fall 2010, a repurposing that's not available in syndication and that could start on cable before the year is out.
Read the rest on Variety.