Syndication Question

 Posted on 8/28/1994 by to

Okay, I'll try to make this coherent and brief, two concepts that
don't necessarily relate.

Here's how it works with B5, which is how virtually all syndicated
shows work.

I created B5. Went to Doug Netter, made a handshake deal to make the
series. Five years pass. Finally we hook up with PTEN. PTEN buys the
rights to B5, and owns it. They then finance the production of the series
through Babylonian Productions, which I and Doug own. But the copyright
to B5 belongs to PTEN, as Star Trek has always belonged to Paramount, not
Gene R. Rights don't revert to anyone; the rights belong to PTEN unless
PTEN should cancel the series, after which I believe there's a period of
about two years, after which it *then* comes back to me.

As long as PTEN exists, and the show is broadcast, it belongs to
PTEN, regardless of how many times it's shown. I don't know, or pretend
to know, what would happen if PTEN ceased to exist, though I'm sure that
procedures have been set up such that the revenue stream would continue to
the original parties in PTEN, and the corporation itself would continue as
a means of funnelling those funds.

Warners doesn't own PTEN per se; PTEN is a consortium of a core group
of TV stations in association with Warners, and this executive committee
votes funding on the show.

We are in some ways an unusual situation in that we're not a studio
in-house production, like KUNG FU and TIME TRAX, which were created from
within the Warners corporate structure.