It looks like A&E Network will win the bidding war for basic-cable rights to Home Box Office hit The Sopranos, paying a record-breaking price of more than $2.3 million per episode.
Since Thursday, A&E has been locked in an auction with TNT.
Since TNT and HBO are both owned by Time Warner, many industry executives said the Mafia series would remain in the corporate family.
But A&E kept bidding higher and higher, around $179 milion for rights to the series' 78 episodes. Other bidders that dropped out early included FX, Spike and USA Network.