Redford saves Sundance


It took a personal appeal from Robert Redford, but he managed to rescue the
Sundance Channel from getting dropped in Oklahoma City.

Cox Communications's system there had planned to stop carrying the artsy
movie network in its digital package Nov. 29, substituting Lifetime Movie
Network instead.

There are no capacity issues, but Cox wanted to add LMN and some other
channels without increasing its programming costs or fees to subscribers.

However, GM David Bialis got a call personally from Redford, a champion of
independent film who owns half the channel.

It's not that Bialis was starstruck.

A system representative said that he and Redford cut a 'financial deal' that
would allow Cox to keep the channel while adding LMN to its movie tier.

She wouldn't detail the terms of the arrangement.

She noted, however, that the 220,000-subscriber system has gotten lots of
requests for the Lifetime channel and little subscriber comment about plans to
drop Sundance.