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CBS'S AFFILIATE DEAL COULD MEAN $40-50M IN FINANCIAL AID
Published June 1, 1998
CBS announced an agreement with its affils to share the cost of the network's new NFL package, and in N.Y., Bill Carter wrote that the deal is "the first time a network has received direct financial help" from affils to help pay for programming. Several CBS execs said that the net "expects to realize between" $40-50M from the arrangement, and while that is less than 10% of the $500M CBS will pay the NFL each year of the deal, it "represents a significant shift in the relationship" between the net and its affils. Carter wrote that the formula of payment "is a complicated one," with CBS receiving "cash and some commercial time" during NFL games from the stations, and the stations getting more prime time commercial spots. CBS "also helped win favor" by insuring that CBS affils "will maintain exclusivity for most of the network's shows." NBC and ABC "have had serious disputes" with affils over the second use of programming on cable networks owned by the net, but CBS agreed that most of its programs will play only on CBS for 12 months (N.Y. TIMES, 5/30). In L.A., Sallie Hofmeister reported that affils will give CBS an ad spot during the "Late Show" with David Letterman and two spots during "This Morning" to sell nationally. Affils will get back one spot in prime time each night to sell locally (L.A. TIMES, 5/30).