AMC, WE Set Local Avails

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AMC Networks is readying its affiliate kits, as both American Movie Classics and WE: Women's Entertainment are poised to carry a full commercial load in October — replete with local avails.

The programmer will offer the same national/local mix on both networks — two minutes of local time and eight minutes of network avails, said executive vice president of distribution and affiliate marketing Kim Martin.

The networks will be among "the least cluttered of all," she emphasized.

AMC Networks has not yet decided when in each hour those two ad minutes will be offered, Martin said. The programmer is still talking to affiliates about that point, she added.

MSOs are enthused about the prospect of two more networks to sell to local clients — especially one that's fully distributed (the 83 million-home AMC) and another that's growing quickly (WE, in 47 million households), said Martin.

Given the advance notice, Martin was confident that AMC's ad-insertable household count will be "enormous right out of the gate," following a growth timetable similar to that of sister service Bravo.

AMC already had "a handful of commitments" with unspecified MSOs, she added last Wednesday.

In April 1999, Los Angeles interconnect Adlink became the first to insert two local minutes per hour on Bravo. By the end of that year, Bravo's insertable count neared 15 million; it could reach 40 million by the close of 2002.

Cox Communications Inc. is among the MSOs interested in the networks. AMC, which targets adults 25 to 54, is now "deep in conversations" with the company, said Martin.

Cox officials could not be reached by press time.

Martin plans to meet with various MSOs and interconnects in the coming weeks to get their input on what the programmer should include in its affiliate kits. They'll will be distributed at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau's Local Cable Sales Management conference in late June.

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