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Shows airing in first-run syndication that are carried primarily by an owned-and-operated station of a network may sometimes be incorrectly referenced as a network program, regardless to its distribution to stations of varying network affiliations and despite the fact it is not part of an individual network's base schedule.
Meanwhile, top-rated syndicated shows in the United States usually have a domestic market reach as high as 98%.
When syndicating a show, the production company, or a distribution company called a syndicator, attempts to license the show to one station in each media market or area, or to a commonly owned station group, within the country and internationally.
If successful, this can be lucrative, but the syndicator may only be able to license the show in a small percentage of the markets.
Syndication is less of a practice in the rest of the world, as most countries have centralized networks or television stations without local affiliates; although less common, shows can be syndicated internationally.
The three main types of syndication are "first-run syndication", which is programming that is broadcast for the first time as a syndicated show and is made specifically to sell directly into syndication; "off-network syndication", which is the licensing of a program that was originally run on network TV or, in some cases, first-run syndication (colloquially called a "rerun"); and "public broadcasting syndication".