Universal seeks Maxim exposure

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Universal Television is angling for a few good networks, but so far, it's
mostly talk.

The latest rumor is that Universal Television (which now incorporates USA
Cable) has pondered partnering with macho mag Maxim on a new men's

The Maxim net reportedly would turn magazine features into

But Universal Television officials would only say, "We're considering a
number of ideas for new services, but we can't comment on what those services

Last week, company sources dismissed word that it was launching an action

But the company is looking to launch five new channels as early as first-quarter 2003.

Vivendi Universal ponied up $1.5 billion last year for a 10 percent stake in
EchoStar Communications Corp. and space for five new channels.

If EchoStar's pending merger with DirecTV Inc. goes through, the networks could
reach up to 16 million direct-broadcast satellite homes.