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HBO Taking Offers For 'The Sopranos’

New York — Home Box Office was evidently still having sit-downs last Friday about which network would acquire basic-cable syndication rights to The Sopranos.

At press time, sources said no final call had been made about whether the mob drama was headed to sister service Turner Network Television or A&E Network.

The record syndication price tag under discussion is said to be over $2 million for each of 78 installments, covering six seasons, including next year’s finale.

CSTV Wants Partners For NCAA Online Deal

New York — College Sports Television expects to announce a number of marketing partnerships with cable operators tied to the multiyear deal it signed with CBS SportsLine.com and the National Collegiate Athletic Association last week for the exclusive video-streaming rights for out-of-market game coverage of the Division I men’s basketball tournament.

“NCAA March Madness on Demand” is available for $9.95 before Feb. 8 and $19.95 thereafter.

CSTV CEO Brian Bedol points to special MSO highlights packages and “local avails” within the Webcasts as some of the ways the service will work with operators to tout their broadband applications.

Media Group Asks for Ratings Conduct Code

New York — The Media Ratings Council has asked the Federal Trade Commission for some reforms of the TV audience-ratings system, including the establishment of a voluntary code of conduct for Nielsen Media Research.

In a letter dated last Thursday, the MRC’s directors asked the FTC to reaffirm the council’s role in offering its imprimatur for TV measurement. It also recommended that the FTC reaffirm Nielsen’s “consent” to the MRC accreditation process, and that the MRC — in coordination with the FTC and Congress — establish a voluntary code of conduct for Nielsen, which would set the ground rules for its accreditation process.

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