2001 Western Loses HBO

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Oakland, Calif.-This Western Show will be the last with a Home Box Office booth on its floor, the California Cable Television Association said.

The network has not chosen to take booth space in 2001, when the show returns to its usual home in Anaheim, an HBO spokesman confirmed. The pay TV channel, however, will be present "in force, with all the usual staff attending," he said.

The change is a "simple business decision" triggered by consolidation and HBO's own penetration gains, executives said.

HBO will join Showtime Networks Inc., Encore Media Group and Playboy Enterprises Inc. in taking a pass on the industry's second largest trade show. Showtime, Encore and Playboy pulled their booths this year.

The change could be a boon for younger programming networks on a waiting list for show-floor real estate. The CCTA is waiting to hear from Oxygen and Ovation - The Arts Network, for example, to see if they will fill in the programming void at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

New technology vendors will also get the chance to participate, the association said.

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