AFFILAmericans for Fairness in Lending
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Net execs note that the vast majority of the programming that makes affil stations a must-have channel for operators is provided by the network, particularly in the area of pricey sports rights.
CBS owns a boatload of affils, after all, and needs to program them somehow.
In the view of some MyNet affil owners, a go-it-alone strategy in primetime would be more costly and pull ratings just as weak, if not worse.
Meanwhile, the station group hit hardest by the WB-UPN announcement--Fox's band of nine UPN affils in top markets--kept mum.
What's more, the days of affil compensation are all but over.
Affils are hardly the only constituency feeling unsettled about who profits from digital downloads and other innovations sure to follow.
Peacock affils are nervously waiting to see how NBC's plans to strip Leno on weeknights at 10 p.m.
Hearst-Argyle is well-positioned to clean up with strong ABC and NBC affils in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and five other hotly contested states.
Then the Parents Television Council weighed in, pressing the Eye's affils to pre-empt "Swingtown." "CBS affiliates can pre-empt shows that violate community standards," says the PTC.
Meanwhile, execs at major MyNet affils are anxiously looking at the numbers, and say advertisers have been slow to join the telenovela train.
So far, 180 of CBS's nearly 200 affils have agreed to tubthump Couric in hopes the halo effect will carry over to their own newscasts.
As part of its pitch to stations, MyNet also will sell fewer national spots per hour--around 10--having given affils more local ad time.