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Network affiliation tango, part deux?
Apparently the networks will do anything to screw their affiliates; witness two
Today's Cynthia Turner's Cynopsis is reporting that several affiliates are at
risk of losing Fox programming because they've balked at a controversial term
of their renewals. The network is forcing affiliates to buy back network
inventory at rates they cannot recoup locally. Fox is giving the holdouts 90
days to sign or have their affiliations pulled. UPN is reportedly sniffing
around for possible upgrades in several markets; can the WB be far behind?
Also, PAX TV issued a press release today stating they will test airing the NBC
Nightly News at 7:30PM in May. They will also begin time-shifting NBC O&O's
early and late newscasts in 11 markets at 7PM and 11:30PM respectively. The
latter half of this arrangement is already in place in the Miami market. The
release clearly indicates their desire to make this permanent. Not
surprisingly, many NBC affiliates are up in arms over this, citing the
potential for audience dilution. Will we begin to see widespread pre-emptions
in favor of another half-hour of local news?
The PAX/NBC synergy doesn't end there; effective June 3rd PAX will commence
airing the 2000 United States Olympic Team Trials on 14 consecutive Saturdays
NBC bought a 32 percent stake in PAX TV parent Paxson Communications
Corporation and began providing PAX with network sales, sales research and
marketing services late last year. The agreement has since been expanded to
include programming. PAX already runs NBC's Twenty One on a time-shifted