Late Breaking News
E! to Referee ‘Cat Fights’
E! Entertainment renewed Star Dates and The Michael Essany Show and is planning a dozen new series for 2003 aimed at 18-to-34-year-old viewers. Among the new series are Hollywood Wives, Cat Fights and Your 15 Minutes Are Up. In another new show, Star Struck, a hypnotist convinces people they are their favorite stars. E! has not yet made a decision about whether to produce a third season of The Anna Nicole Show.
EchoStar Spends $40M for Digs
EchoStar Communications has agreed to pony up $40 million for a 61-acre, two-building campus south of Denver. The company will keep its current headquarters in the area as well. About 1,600 of the company’s 4,400 employees located in Denver will work at the new facility. The company says it’s buying the property to accommodate future growth, but Janco Partners analyst Matthew Harrigan doesn’t believe that means EchoStar is on the verge of doing any big deals right now. Separately, EchoStar inked a deal to launch HDNet and HDNet Movies this summer, with pricing and packaging details still to be announced. Dish Network is also adding 42 new local markets where it plans to launch local TV channels.
Empire Added to Sports Tier
Time Warner Cable is moving the Empire Sports Network to a new digital sports tier for its customers in upstate New York. The Adelphia Communications-owned network joins the Tennis Channel, Speed Channel, the Fox Sports digital Atlantic, Central and Pacific channels, Fox Sports Espanol, Fox Sports World and ESPN News. The sports tier launched last week in Binghamton at $4.95 for digital customers.
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