NBC pays comp in Detroit, Houston

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Not all network compensation is drying up. Post-Newsweek Stations' WDIV(TV)
Detroit and KPRC(TV) Houston have renewed their affiliate agreements with NBC
for 10 more years.

Alan Frank, president of the station group, a division of the Washington Post
Co., said the two sides reached a deal after negotiating for about three
months.

And yes, Frank added, the stations got compensation.

He wouldn't say how much, but he did suggest that through some creative
horse-trading with the network, the stations will actually end up with more
compensation in the long run, and not less. The hitch is that the stations will
have to wait a little longer to get it.

'We were able to defer some comp, and that made it attractive to NBC and, in
turn, they were able to add some to it,' Frank said. He declined to
elaborate.

NBC officials knowledgeable about the matter couldn't be reached at
deadline.

Frank has been one of the more outspoken voices on the issue of network
compensation and the changing balance of power between networks and
affiliates.

He was among the architects of a filing at the Federal Communications
Commission charging the networks with a host of strong-arm practices and rule
violations vis-à-vis affiliation contracts.

Franks said Wednesday that he still very much supports that petition and he
has word that the commission is in the process of addressing
it.

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