At Press Time

Dec 2, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Washington-EchoStar Communications and DirecTV have offered to help Cablevision Systems create a viable competitor to a merged EchoStar and DirecTV satellite TV service in order to gain government approval for the merger.
The companies, in Federal Communications Commission filings made available Friday, proposed that they sell Cablevision 62 satellite frequencies-enough spectrum to cover the United States-plus help it offer local channels and allow it to resell EchoStar service.
“This amendment to the application will create a [direct broadcast satellite] competitor with a capacity to provide programming equal to, and in all probability greater than, each of the DBS entities today,” EchoStar and DirecTV said in the filing.
`Center Court’ for Tennis
Los Angeles-“Center Court With Chris Myers,” featuring the former host of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and “Up Close,” will become a Tennis Channel original series.
The half-hour interview series, set for a 2003 debut on the as-yet-to-launch all-tennis network, will originate Los Angeles.
`Osbournes’ top ratings
Los Angeles-Tuesday’s season two premiere of “The Osbournes” scored big numbers for MTV, tallying a 5.2 household rating, with 6.6 million viewers, making it the highest-rated ad-supported cable entertainment program in the fourth quarter among households, persons 2-plus and persons 12 to 34.
In fact, among the 12 to 34 set “The Osbournes” did a 6.2, beating all cable and broadcast competition to win the time period outright. By comparison, the unheralded very first episode of the show did a 2.8 in households and a 3.4 with 12- to 34-year-olds.