NBC Universal, the owner of the television show, House, recently reached a deal with the show’s broadcaster, Fox, for an eighth season.
At first glance, NBC Universal would appear to have strong leverage in this type of deal because it can always choose to broadcast the shows it produces on its own network (a good Plan B). However, because NBC Universal makes a significant amount of money selling some its shows to other networks, it must balance that leverage with its desire to maintain good business relationships with the purchasers of its shows.
When the deal on the table can affect future deals, smart negotiators should identify and prioritize both the short- and long-term interests at stake. Here, NBC Universal weighed the competing interests of maximizing its short-term return on House (which probably won’t be extended past next year) with its long-term interest of selling current and future shows to other networks and decided to keep the show at Fox for its likely final season.