In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very nature. It is common in countries where broadcast programming is scheduled by television networks with local independent affiliates, particularly in the United States. In the rest of the world, however, most countries have centralized networks and/or TV stations without local affiliates and syndication is less common, although shows can also be syndicated internationally. In the film industry, film distribution is handled by film distributors.
First-run syndication refers to programming that is broadcast for the first time as a syndicated show (not any one particular network), or at least first so offered in a given country (programs originally created and broadcast outside of the United States, first presented on a network in their country of origin, have often been syndicated in the U.S. and in some other countries).