Fast Track - Broadcasting & Cable

Fast Track

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More Sports-Rights Fights

The latest tussle between Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems is over a new carriage deal for Cablevision's MSG and Fox Sports Net New York. Agreements for the regional sports nets with Time Warner expire New Year's Eve.

Time Warner took ads out in New York-area newspapers last week that warned, "Cablevision is threatening to take the Knicks and the Rangers away from you in January." Time Warner's ad says it has been negotiating in good faith but Cablevision has made "unreasonable" demands that would result in price increases for subscribers. A spokesperson for Cablevision's Rainbow Media unit said, "We have offered Time Warner Cable the opportunity to allow its customers to choose whether or not to receive these well-established regional sports networks," a comment that suggests Cablevision would accept a tiered position. Time Warner says the deal has hidden strings attached.

Cable Notes

InDemand is partnering with A&E, History Network, Oxygen and Fuse to distribute programming from the cable networks on a free on-demand basis to cable operators. InDemand already has a deal with several other cable nets, including Court TV, Comedy Central and G4…

Fox News Channel Chairman Roger Ailes has reupped with a new three-year deal. His current deal was set to expire in January. He has been with the network since its 1996 launch…

Court TV chief Henry Schleiff offered to provide pool-camera footage to networks worldwide for any trial of captured former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. In a letter to President Bush, Schleiff said Court TV could make the trial available live. "The truest picture of Hussein's character will be revealed at the trial. Why not let the entire world watch?"…

Former Defense Department spokeswoman Torie Clarke joins Comcast Jan. 1 as senior adviser for communications and government affairs. Clarke, who left the current Bush Administration in June, was a spokeswoman for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association from 1993 to 1998.

Broadcast News

The FCC will be closed Friday, Dec. 26, as well as Christmas Day, the agency announced Wednesday. All filings that would otherwise be due on Dec. 26 will be accepted as on time through Monday, Dec. 29. …

Don't worry, kids: MegaMan NT Warrior will return to the Kids' WB! schedule in the spring. In addition, Astro Boy will join its Saturday-morning lineup starting Jan. 17, and veteran series Static Shock will be added to the weekday lineup on Monday, Jan. 5.

Kids' WB! has ordered 26 new episodes of MegaMan, which premiered last May and continued to thrive on Saturday mornings before taking a break this fall. Astro Boy is an all-new show for the block but was created 50 years ago by anime pioneer Osamu Tezuka. Static Shock, which won the 2003 Humanitas Prize, is entering its fourth season on the Kids' WB! Saturday-morning lineup, and just beginning on weekdays.

Clarification

In the sale of KKHI(AM) Laramie, Wyo. (12/1, page 30), Jody McCoy of Media Services Group represented the seller, and Chuck Lontine of Marconi Media Ventures represented the buyer.

Golden Nods

CBS may not have liked The Reagans, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association apparently does. Among its Golden Globe nominations announced last week were nods for James Brolin (left) and Judy Davis for Best Actor and Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie. Garnering the most nominations for a mini, and the most nods of any TV show, was HBO's Angels in America, which received seven nominations. Cable and broadcast split top honors for comedy nods, with NBC's Will & Grace and HBO's Sex and the City grabbing five apiece. NBC's The West Wing got the most drama nods with three.

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