ESPN found more ‘value’ evidence to crow about, with the latest Beta cable operator survey showing the net in 1st place in avg perceived value for major nets among affiliates. It’s the 4th consecutive year ESPN has claimed the honor. ESPN2 was 2nd, with Nick in 3rd place. ESPN Classic was at the top of mid-size nets for value, followed by Discovery Health and Nat Geo. When it comes to the digital emerging nets that cable operators most want to carry, DIY ranked as #1, with 76% of non-affiliates reporting their interested in carrying it by the end of ’04. PBS Kids (60%) and The Outdoor Channel (60%) round out the top 3 emerging nets. On the package side, 63% expressed interest in 1 or more digital nets from Nick, while 55% were interested in 1 or more nets from Fox Sports. Lifetime Movie Net ranked as the mid-size net with the most interest (74%), followed by Nat Geo (72%), Hallmark (69%), TechTV (63%) and WE (61%). Among operators with 50K or more subs, CSTV was the #1 emerging net for interest (56%), followed by PBS Kids (34%) and Tennis Channel (34%). Hallmark (12%) and MTV2 (10%) had the highest interest among mid-size nets.

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FTC, DOJ Seek to Rewrite Merger Rules

The FTC and DOJ Antitrust Division launched a proceeding to take public comment for the next 60 days on how to better detect and prevent illegal, anticompetitive mergers. “While periodic review of existing

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