BET Snags Early Syndication Deal with ABC Drama Series ‘Scandal’

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  • If you haven’t heard, BET has acquired off-network rights to ABC’s breakout hit “Scandal.”

    The deal allows the cabler to begin airing seasons one and two of the series as early as this summer. BET will also be allowed to air episodes from the third season no sooner than eight days after original first-run episodes are broadcast on ABC. If “Scandal” is picked up for any additional seasons, the deal will be extended to those episodes as well.

    The first two seasons of the drama starring Kerry Washington, will begin airing in August and will run until the third-season premiere on ABC in fall.

    The agreement extends season-one “Scandal” episodes to BET in addition to Netflix, where they’ve been streaming since September 2012. It marks the first time season two will air outside of ABC and ABC.com.

    ABC Studios and other content producers are now starting to enter the syndication market early to generate instant revenue forgoing the usual procedure of waiting for the 100-episode market to make off-network deals.

    Although the creator and executive producer of the show, Shonda Rhimes, has made it clear that her show is not specifically catering towards African Americans, the move to syndicate via BET’s network will reach the show’s core demographic.

    “We’re thrilled to be joining forces with ABC in airing this dynamic series,” BET chairman Debra Lee said. “’Scandal’ is a cultural phenomenon that has resonated with viewers for the past two seasons and we’re excited to be part of its continued journey.”

    “Scandal” marks BET’s first syndicated scripted drama acquisition. The network in the past has aired repeats of comedies “The Parkers,” “Moesha” and “Family Matters” and continues to air Wendy Williams’ syndicated talk show.

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