MTV Courts Comcast

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You’d think that MTV Networks is rich and powerful enough to launch cable networks without anyone’s help. But a startup that has been gestating at Viacom’s star unit may have a surprise partner: Comcast.

MTVN has been talking to the No. 1 cable operator not only about carriage for a planned lifestyle network but also about becoming a partner.

The venture is being cooked up by John Sykes, who was eased out as CEO of Infinity Broadcasting in January and tucked into an MTVN business-development unit. It was no make-work job. The new project calls for a slate of channels and broadband products aimed at 25-54s, while still maintaining the MTV attitude.

One industry executive familiar with the project says it will emulate the approach of such MTV hits as Cribs and Pimp My Ride. (Maybe a hipper HGTV? )

MTV and Comcast declined to comment on the project, but we hear it may be unveiled as early as next month.

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