Repurposed Shows Hike Cable Nets Ratings

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USA Network and Lifetime Television, which are reairing two
series shortly after their first runs on broadcast networks, are seeing some lift in their
ratings as a result, officials said last week.

USA is rebroadcasting episodes of new NBC primetime series Law
& Order: Special Victims Unit
Sundays at 11 p.m., just 13 days after the
shows' first broadcast runs. And Lifetime is reairing episodes of ABC's new hit,
Once and Again, Friday nights at 11 p.m., just three days after their first plays
on broadcast.

Law & Order: SVU had its first reairing on USA Oct.
3, and it did a 1.6 rating, reaching 1.2 million homes, according to Nielsen Media
Research data provided by USA Networks Inc. senior vice president of research Tim Brooks.
That's a 45 percent increase over the 1.1 the time period was averaging a year ago,
and 33 percent ahead of the 1.2 the slot was doing most recently this year.

Before the programming change to SVU, USA was airing
La Femme Nikita at 11 p.m. Sundays.

At Lifetime, Once and Again posted a 1.2 rating on
each of its first two airings, Sept. 24 and Oct. 1.That marks a 20 percent increase from a
1.0 during the same time period a year ago and in the third quarter of this year,
according to a Lifetime spokesman.

Lifetime also increased the number of women 18 to 49 years
old who were watching the network during the 11 p.m. Friday time slot by 16 percent to
339,000, compared with 292,000 a year ago, and by 24 percent compared with 273,000 in the
third quarter.

Brooks expects SVU'sUSA airings to wind
up averaging a 2.0 rating. "The show is cooking on NBC," he said, "and
there's nothing to stop it from doing a 2.0 here."

Lifetime struck its deal to reair Once and Again --an hour-long drama about two divorced 40-somethings who find love again -- because it
is part-owned by The Walt Disney Co., which also owns the ABC network.

USA wrangled its agreement to reair SVU because the
60-minute drama -- a spinoff of Dick Wolf's hit, Law & Order --is
a production done by Wolf in association with USA Studios Television, part of USA
Networks.

USA Networks chairman Barry Diller reportedly tied renewing
NBC's deal for Law & Order to the broadcaster agreeing to share the
show's spinoff, SVU,with USA.

TV-station affiliates have opposed the repurposing of
network shows on cable because they fear that the network's audience for those shows
will erode. But Brooks said this hasn't happened with SVU.

"The play on cable doesn't seem to be hurting the
play on broadcast at all," he said. "You can look at this and say,
'Where's the harm?'"

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