VH1 acquires syndication rights to first six seasons of UPN's 'Top Model'
By Reality TV World staff, 06/06/2005
Continuing what is shaping up to be a busy month in the world of reality TV syndication, VH1 has announced that it has acquired the exclusive syndication rights to UPN's America's Next Top Model series.
In addition to the rights to all four of Top Model's previously broadcast editions, VH1's deal also includes the rights to the show's upcoming fifth and sixth editions, as well as options for any additional editions of the series that may be produced. While neither VH1 or King World (the show's distributor) would comment on the financial terms of the deal, according to Daily Variety, the network will pay $75,000 for each of the first six season's 77 episodes, a fee that would make the deal worth about $5.8 million.
According to Variety, VH1's deal involves a three-year license, with the network able to begin airing Top Model's first three seasons immediately and the recently-concluded fourth series beginning in September.
MTV Networks Music Group president Brian Graden told Variety that the ability to get all the show's episodes on the air so quickly was a key part of the deal for the pop culture network. "Pop culture is moving so fast, if you don't play in the moment, you don't win on the acquisition front," Graden told Variety. "Part of VH1's brand proposition is to traffic in the pop culture you love at this very moment. To celebrate a franchise like Top Model, you can't wait two or three years to get it on the air."
Last Wednesday, Outdoor Life Network announced that it had acquired the exclusive syndication rights to the first ten seasons of CBS's long-running Survivor series. On the same day, both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter reported that GSN (the former Game Show Network) is in final negotiations to pick up the cable rights for the Tiffany network's other big reality series -- The Amazing Race. Both UPN and CBS are Viacom networks. Like Top Model, Survivor and The Amazing race are both distributed by King World, a CBS company.
Unlike OLN, VH1 doesn't currently appear to plan to air its Top Model repeats in daily syndication. According to Variety, the network instead plans to air Top Model marathons.