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The Seinfeld Effect

NBC and other people--even the ''Soup Nazi''--make huge sums from the show and the cultural miniphenomena it sparks

POWER TO DIVERSIFY
Profit-rich NBC has busily been diversifying into cable and international markets

OUTBID THE COMPETITION
Big profits mean NBC can afford to buy the rights to big-time events such as the Olympics

WATCH THIS...
Huge audiences allow NBC to promote other fare heavily: Even the cheesy NBC-produced special The Odyssey drew huge ratings

...AND THIS...
Shows scheduled before and after Seinfeld, such as Fired Up, get the spillover audience. They may become minihits that NBC can use to build up another night's programming

...AND CONQUER THE NIGHT
Other Thursday hits, such as ER, let NBC lock up the whole night--the most valuable one for advertisers, when viewers are making their weekend plans

MAKE THE AFFILIATES HAPPY
Strong prime-time ratings and NBC's purchase of big events make affiliate stations rich--and make it tough for them to complain about NBC's cable ventures

BUY THIS
In addition to their show salaries, the actors are making a bundle hawking everything from pretzels to credit cards to hair dye

SHOWCASE
Real products and places woven into the show gain cachet and become, in some cases, tourist destinations

RERUN REVENUE: A MONEY MACHINE
Seinfeld reruns have been enormously strong in syndication, crushing competition outside of prime time as well



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Updated June 15, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.
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