The National Cable Television Cooperative and MTV Networks concluded a year-plus negotiation with a carriage deal that runs through December 2009. NCTC members who choose to sign off on the new master deal agree to carry Nick, MTV, VH1, TV Land, CMT and Spike TV on basic and expanded basic. The deal also includes launches for their six diginet sisters such as MTV2 where digitally possible, while TV Land and CMT get an additional 2 million homes. As with all NCTC deals, its 1,000-plus members (which represent more than 15 million subscribers) have the choice to accept or reject the new MTVN agreement, but are not obligated to participate and are free to strike their own deals by negotiating separately with MTVN. “MTV Networks has some of the highest-rated cable networks in the industry, which speaks to the quality of their product and how well it meets the subscribers’ needs,” NCTC president Mike Pandzik said in a statement. TV Guide Channel takes viewers behind the velvet rope tonight in a special (6 p.m. to 7 p.m., with an 11 p.m. repeat) from the 2003 Emmy Awards after-party, featuring stars galore and musical guests the Foo Fighters. Capping its weeklong Emmy countdown, it’s the second one-hour special for the channel, which is adding longer, in-depth shows to its lineup. Last month’s salute to MTV’s Video Music Awards nabbed a .84 rating among 12- to 17-year-olds, a 375% increase from its year-ago time slot. The Sept. 14 “summer season” finale of Sex and the City — guest-starring Mikhail Baryshnikov as Carrie’s post-Mr. Big intended — scored 7.7 million viewers, its second-highest-rated episode ever; the show’s final leg begins in January. Sex’s 2003 bow gave a lift to new series Carnivàle, HBO’s best series debut to date with 5.3 million viewers. Court TV also enjoyed its most-watched prime-time week in history, earning a 1.0 rating and an average 802,000 households for its Sept. 8 to 14 week of premieres. Horowitz Associates’ Focus: Latino III report on urban Hispanics shows that 24% of that demographic subscribe to digital cable. Between 22% and 30% of respondents said having access to cable networks such as ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports En Español, mun2 and SíTV would make them more likely to subscribe to or retain digital cable for $10 more a month. Respondents cited Fox and HBO as their favorite channels (10% each) and Discovery and MTV (8% each).

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Locast Heads to Madison

Locast expanded its service area to include the Madison, Wisconsin, market Friday. Residents in the city and the surrounding rural areas will now

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