In the past, TV reruns meant old stuff. But this summer, we can see that changing as networks start to recognize that fans want more episodes, faster.
First, Amazon (s AMZN) started streaming episodes of the Stephen King drama Under the Dome on Prime Instant Video just four days after they air on CBS (s CBS). And this week, cable network BET announced that it will air episodes of hit political drama Scandal eight days after they run on ABC (s DIS).
Other aspects of BET’s deal with ABC take cues from online binge viewing behavior. The Hollywood Reporter reports:
“BET will debut the first two seasons of the ABC Studios drama with a marathon starting in August, continuing to air episodes up until the third-season premiere on ABC in the fall (a formal third-season premiere date has not been announced yet). 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, ABC.com and Hulu.”
Hulu will still stream the five most recent episodes of Scandal, the New York Times notes.
Of course, viewers who get BET on cable presumably have access to ABC as well, but the hope is that the syndication deal will pull in new viewers quickly.