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Jan 3, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Posted Friday, Jan. 3

‘Beyond’s’ home with syndication may be over

Executives at distributor Tribune have confirmed that “Beyond With James Van Praagh” has ceased production after a slow debut this season, and the future of the rookie is murky. The strip has averaged a 1.0 household rating with a 0.6 rating in adults 18 to 49.

“We were hoping this type of first-run programming would have the broad-based appeal that would make it viable in today’s highly competitive daytime environment,” said Donna Harrison, senior VP, unscripted programming and development, at Tribune Entertainment. “Unfortunately, the marketplace was not as responsive to ‘Beyond’ as we had hoped to move forward for season two. We have produced a sufficient number of episodes to keep the series on the air until we explore our options, including those outside of syndication.”

Cable rate dispute turns off two regional sports nets: Two regional Fox Sports Networks, the Sunshine Network in Florida and Fox Sports North in Minnesota, are no longer available to Time Warner Cable subscribers.

Because of a rate dispute between Fox Sports and Time Warner Cable as many as 1.7 million sports fans in the Tampa, Orlando and Twin Cities markets have been without their customary local sports coverage since the beginning of the new year, when a ten-year-old carriage agreement between Fox Sports and TWC expired.

TWC says it’s holding the line against higher sports rights fees. Fox says TWC’s satellite and cable competitors in the Florida market have accepted the same general terms that TWC rejected. Each company blames the other for the decision to disrupt service.

No talks between the parties have occurred in the past two weeks and no talks are scheduled.

Commerce committee sets hearings: The Senate Commerce Committee has announced hearings Jan. 14 to assess the state of competition in the telecommunications industry, including a review of cable TV and satellite television. Witnesses are expected to include top Federal Communications Commission officials.