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Self-Dealing or Market Transaction?: An Exploratory Study of Vertical Integration in the U.S. Television Syndication Market


  • Goro Oba
  • Sylvia Chan-Olmsted


This study explores the programming relationship between vertically integrated station groups and their affiliated syndicators in the context of two frameworks associated with the advantages of vertical integration: the transaction cost and vertical foreclosure theories. The programming sources for various stations that are vertically integrated with syndicators were assessed. The results indicated that leading television station groups had purchased relatively more products from their vertically integrated syndicators. The pattern of internal transfer through vertical integration was especially apparent in the acquisition of newer first-run products that are associated with uncertain quality and less audience information. The findings generally support the transaction cost theoretical perspective. However, the data did not paint a picture of market foreclosure in this industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Goro Oba & Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, 2006. "Self-Dealing or Market Transaction?: An Exploratory Study of Vertical Integration in the U.S. Television Syndication Market," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 99-118.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jmedec:v:19:y:2006:i:2:p:99-118
    DOI: 10.1207/s15327736me1902_2

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