Monday, July 07, 2008

Summer 2008 TCA Cable Tour - July 8-11; NBC Universal Buys The Weather Channel; ION Reminds Us of Cooper

The cable portion of the summer 2008 TCA press tour starts tomorrow and runs until Friday. We will have a detailed look on every cable network that goes...of course if it is only interesting we will report it. But cable networks owned by media companies that also run broadcast networks, such as Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal, CBS Corp. and News Corp, will present their programming during the broadcast portion of the tour.
Up on Tuesday is: TV One, The Hallmark Channel, HDnet, BBC America, and Comcast's E!, style, & G4. Wednesday we have AMC, WE tv, MTV Networks (such as CMT, MTV, TV Land, VH1), National Geographic Channel, and A&E Networks (such as History and A&E). Thursday up at the panel are Discovery Networks (such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC), ESPN, Sundance Channel, HBO, and GSN. Finally on Friday up are Turner Broadcasting (CNN, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS), Fox Reality Channel, Starz, Lifetime, and IFC.

NBC Universal, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire The Weather Channel properties from Landmark Communications. The Weather Channel will be operated as a separate entity, based in Atlanta, with management services to be provided by NBC Universal.
The transaction includes The Weather Channel Networks, the third-most-distributed cable network, seen in more than 97% of cable television homes in the U.S.; The Weather Channel Interactive, which includes weather.com, the nation's leading weather website, with nearly 40 million unique visitors per month, and a leading mobile business; and Weather Services International, a global leader in weather forecasting, with more than 5,500 clients worldwide. The transaction is expected to be completed by year-end, and is subject to receipt of customary regulatory approvals. NBC Universal, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group announced on June 13, 2008, that they had entered into exclusive negotiations to purchase The Weather Channel properties.
NBC Universal will probably have much more details when they are up at the 2008 summer TCA press tour in a few weeks.
Of course there is still no new deal for the SAG (the actors). So there could be a chance the broadcast portion of ther TCA tour could be scratched. The last statement SAG released was on July 2:
The Screen Actors Guild national negotiating committee met with AMPTP negotiators today to present a series of substantive questions on the employers' proposed package. Guild negotiators and staff will further analyze and review the AMPTP's responses over the next several days in order to prepare a response to management's proposal.
Let's hope they can settle this because I sure don't want to cover another strike. The recent WGA strike is still fresh in my mind.

Finally, ION issued a reminder press release today on something we have known for a long time. ION Television announced today that, through a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, it will launch the sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper on its weeknight schedule beginning with two back-to-back episodes, airing July 7th (tonight) from 5 p.m.–6 p.m. (ET/PT). The popular series, in a branded "Laugh Attack" hour, will then continue in this timeslot Mondays through Fridays.
More info.

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