Tribune Broadcasting has purchased syndication rights to Home Box Office hit Sex and
the City from the pay service and Warner Bros. Domestic Television
The half-hour comedy will begin airing on Tribune's 26 stations and WGN cable
network as a six-day strip in fall 2005.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the deal includes cash
and an advertising barter component.
HBO and Warner Bros. are also said to be very close to making a deal with
sister AOL Time Warner Inc. unit TBS Superstation for a cable syndication run.
The TBS deal, insiders said, has been slowed by Tribune’s insistence that its
WGN Superstation cable network be included in its deal.
At one time, HBO was pitching the show to broadcast networks and reportedly
seeking up to $3 million per episode. In the end, Tribune is likely paying a
considerably more reasonable price.
Most likely, Tribune stations will add Sex and the City to their prime
access and late-night fringe lineups, which already include hits like
Friends and Will & Grace.
The show has been cleaned up for its broadcast run, either with editing or,
in some cases, by shooting alternate scenes.
Tribune VP of programming and
development Marc Schacher said the company is "entirely comfortable with the content."
Tribune owns and operates 26 stations and also owns 25% of The WB Television Network with
partner AOL Time Warner, parent of HBO and Warner Bros. Domestic Television