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Scripps Got Help in 2010 Dispute From Power Base: Wealthy Women

2/20/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Scripps Networks Interactive officials say talks with affiliates for new deals are
going well, including at newest acquisition
Travel Channel.

Deals with both satellite-
TV providers DirecTV
and Dish Network lapse in
2012, Travel Channel Media
president Laureen Ong told
The Wire last week at a programming
show-and-tell in
New York.

“We don’t anticipate that
we’re going to have any
problems” getting new deals
done, Ong said.

Travel sewed up a new
deal with Cablevision Systems
last year, she noted, and Comcast’s pact
comes up in 2013.

That level of communication and confidence
contrasts with two years ago, when
SNI-owned Food Network and HGTV suffered
a rare, 21-day outage after a contract
with Cablevision Systems lapsed.

When The Wire chatted with other
Scripps officials in New York last Tuesday,
the conversation inevitably led to that
high-profile transmission dispute, and its
parallels to the contretemps that kept (Cablevision
spinoff ) MSG Networks off
Time Warner Cable for seven weeks.

Jon Steinlauf, SNI’s senior vice president
of ad sales, said the X factor in getting
Food and HGTV back on Cablevision
in 2010 was the unusual outcry from the
channels’ upscale female audience.

Typically, networks facing cable or
satellite drops carry sports, not cooking
and real-estate shows.

“Wealthy women typically haven’t
been part of these disputes,” Steinlauf
said.

Lin-deed.

Suddenlink Surprise:
Cable Tech Nabbed
For 1993 U.K. Heist

Secrets are never safe when sons get chatty.
The New York Times last Tuesday (Feb. 14)
ran a front-page piece about Edward “Fast
Eddie” Maher
, recently arrested in Ozark,
Mo., after 19 years on the run.

Maher allegedly robbed an armored car
in England in 1993, making off with the
equivalent of $1.5 million and fleeing to the
United States with his wife and young son,
the Times reported.

Apparently the now-grown son told his
new wife about the family’s secret late last
year. She tipped off authorities after her
father in law threatened to kill her.

The Times also reported Maher’s U.S. lam
session included eight years working at ratings
firm Nielsen — and that most recently
he worked as a broadband technician for
Suddenlink Communications in Missouri.

Suddenlink told The Wire and other news
organizations: “With respect to the individual
in question, we can tell you that, per
standard operating procedure, a thorough
background check was conducted before
he was hired, and we found no information
to indicate there were any issues of any kind.
At this time we, like others, are awaiting
further information from the authorities.”

The Times said Maher was being held on immigration
and firearm charges, and that conversations
were under way about extradition.

NCTC in Winter:
Austin Gathering
Eyes Net Gains

The National Cable Television Cooperative’s
Winter Educational Conference in Austin,
Texas, this week (Feb. 20-21) expects to
feel quite busy.

The programming and purchasing collective
told The Wire attendance is up over
last year, with 215 members registered by
early last week.

Including technology suppliers (the
show’s focus), total attendance will be
more than 400.

And a technology spotlight panel drew
more than 35 submissions. The companies
selected, and their presentations, include:
Clearleap, IP Streaming Services; Dyyno:
TV Everywhere Android STB Solution; Evolution
Digital
, The Liberty-HD uDTA Wall Plate
Device; RGB Networks, Scalable Solutions
for Multiscreen IP Video; and SeaChange,
Customizable Multi Screen User Interface.

Next year’s conference could be even
more popular. Why? It’s in Las Vegas, a
favorite with NCTC members, spokesman
Dan Mulvenon said.

TV GOING TO THE DOGS

A startup channel in San Diego, Calif., on
Cox (channel 2635) and Time Warner Cable
(on-demand on channel 148) is called Dog
TV. It’s designed for home-alone dogs to
watch during the day. Programming (also at
Dogtv.com) is “scientifically developed to
reduce stress, add pleasure and improve a
dog’s development.” It’s free now, but converting
to a $5 pay service later.