Big MSOs Cut 'Super' HD Deals

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Major MSOs scrambled last week to cut deals with independently owned CBS affiliates to pick up the HDTV feed of Sunday night's Super Bowl XXXVIII.

HD feeds from CBS stations owned by parent Viacom Inc. are covered by other corporate deals with MSOs.

Some of the new agreements — including deals Cox Communications Inc. cut with KCOY-TV in Santa Barbara, Calif., and WFSB-TV in Hartford, Conn. — were temporary in nature.

Cox was attempting to craft long-term agreements with the broadcasters, spokesman Bobby Amirshahi said Friday.

As of Friday, Cox still lacked deals with affiliates in Omaha, Neb.; Wichita, Kan.; and Bakersfield, Calif. for the CBS HDTV feed.

Comcast Corp. cut a deal last week with WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, Ind., but lacked agreements as of last Friday with affiliates in Seattle; Cleveland; Flint, Mich; Albuquerque, N.M.; Richmond/Chesterfield, Va.; Tallahassee, Fla.; and Sacramento, Stockton and Fresno, Calif.

Time Warner Cable signed an agreement Thursday with a CBS affiliate that covers portions of the MSO's Western Ohio and Eastern Ohio divisions.

Time Warner also recently cut a deal with a CBS affiliate in Portland, Maine, allowing it to offer the Super Bowl in HD to cable customers that live in the southern portion of its Portland division.

Time Warner's division in Albany, N.Y., is its only system that doesn't have an agreement with a CBS affiliate, Cocozza said.

RCN Corp. said last week it signed an agreement with Viacom to carry the CBS HD feed in Boston; New York City; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley, Pa.

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