Discovery to syndicate 'American Chopper' and 'Deadliest Catch'
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/30/2007
Rev your engines and reline your fishing poles.
Debmar-Mercury has secured the domestic syndication rights to Discovery Communications' Deadliest Catch and American Chopper docu-reality series, The Hollywood Reporterreported Monday.
American Chopper will be available to broadcast stations for weekend runs beginning in Fall 2008, according to The Reporter, while Deadliest Catch will become available in Fall 2009.
The syndication deal, which according to The Reporter is the first in Discovery's history, was the product of discussions between Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein as well as Discovery Communications' Joel Berman.
"[Berman] asked us about the possibility of taking out Chopper, and we said it would be better if we had both shows," Marcus told The Reporter. "One of the greatest things about Discovery is that their programming is so good, high-quality and fantastic for stations. These shows also are very advertiser-friendly."
So far, the response from broadcast stations interested in the two shows has apparently been positive.
"Sometimes what you're selling is perfectly appropriate and effective for the TV stations to air, but it's not the kind of show that GMs watch," Bernstein told The Reporter. "Here, it's both. They both know and love the shows."
Berman added it's a win-win-win for Debmar-Mercury; the stations that license the shows; as well as Discovery.
"The TV stations will get two shows with a proven track record that will perform well for them, while Discovery will expose its programming to a wider audience, a different audience," he told The Reporter. "People who may not have been viewers of either on the Discovery networks will find them in syndication, and then that will hopefully expand our viewership base."
American Chopper first premiered on Discovery Channel in March 2003 and is currently airing on TLC. Deadliest Catch first premiered on Discovery in 2005, with its fourth season scheduled to debut in April.