MediaOne Drops Will Cost Court TV


In a major blow to the network, MediaOne is dropping
Courtroom Television Network in homes representing 1 million subscribers, officials said
last week.

Court TV will be off the program lineup in MediaOne's
Northeast region, totaling roughly 900,000 homes, by Dec. 15, a MediaOne spokesman said.
TV Land will replace it.

And effective Dec. 30, MediaOne is switching out Court TV
in Fresno, Calif., and nearby Visalia, Calif., representing about 114,000 combined homes.
MediaOne will replace Court TV with MSNBC in Fresno and with Food Network in Visalia, the
spokesman said.

The MSO is dropping Court TV because of its low ratings and
due to viewer demand for some of the other networks that will replace it, according to the

"We have had a lot of requests for TV Land in the
Northeast," He added. "It's a customer-driven decision. Court TV
wasn't popular, and it has scored low in the Nielsens [Nielsen Media Research

Court TV, which has 35.2 million subscribers, has been
doing a consistent 0.1 rating in primetime, according to Nielsen.

Court TV officials said MediaOne made its decision to
switch out the network based on old data and on reactions to the service as it has been --
not what it will be next year. Under the auspices of its new president, Henry Schleiff,
Court TV recently acquired the off-network rights to Homicide: Life on the Street,
and it is unveiling a new primetime schedule at the Western Show this week.

"The new story of Court TV hadn't gotten to
MediaOne when they made this decision," said Bob Rose, Court TV's executive vice
president of affiliate relations. "They based this decision on data that are no
longer relevant."

Rose maintained that MediaOne officials in the Northeast
told him that they wouldn't have dropped the network if they had known about the
changes in store for next year.

"We'll see if they are nimble enough to react to
the new news and put us back on," Rose said. "I don't think that the
story's over yet."

He added that Court TV has received several dozen e-mails
and 800-number phone calls from MediaOne subscribers who didn't want the channel to
be dropped.

Even after the drop, MediaOne will still be carrying Court
TV in roughly 1 million homes, with another 1 million set to get the legal network once
the MSO completes its rebuilds, according to Rose.

In a restructuring this year, Time Warner Inc. and Liberty
Media Group acquired NBC's stake in Court TV. As a result, Court TV will get a bump
up in distribution over the next few years of about 5 million homes from Time Warner Cable
and Tele-Communications Inc.

Court TV is up by 3 million subscribers this year, and it
expects to be in 50 million homes by the end of 2001, Rose added.