Most observers believe the foremost consideration in the BVTV programming/ABC Daytime merger is economics.
The network will probably explain the merger as a way to avoid duplication between ABC Daytime and BVTV, which are looking to develop the same type of program genres, including gameshows and talkers.
But BVTV has also faced numerous obstacles in developing programming for all slots in recent years.
Despite a desire for vertical integration, the potential synergy between BVTV and ABC has been limited.
With those slots occupied, BVTV recently sold "Ainsley Harriott" to NBC's owned stations.
But with "Oprah's" contract up in 2002, BVTV may finally have a shot at one of those elusive ABC station time-periods.
Presumably Shapiro and the head of BVTV would work closely together in order to make sure resources are only devoted to programs that BVTV believes it can sell
Shapiro reports to ABC Television president Pat Fili-Krushel, while the head of BVTV reports directly to ABC Group chairman and Walt Disney Intl.
Other arenas, including syndication sales and marketing, pay-per-view and pay TV, would continue to be overseen by the soon-to-be-named head at BVTV.
Observers don't expect the merger to have a major effect on how BVTV does business with stations.