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Tribune Acquires 'Sex in the City'

September 11, 2003|From Times Wire Services

Tribune Co., publisher of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, said its broadcasting unit has acquired syndication rights to HBO's "Sex and the City" series.

The show will appear on Tribune's 26 stations six days a week, starting in September 2005, said Christine Hennessey, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Tribune. HBO is owned by New York-based AOL Time Warner Inc.

"Sex and the City," the top-ranked program on premium cable television, chronicles the lives of four single women in New York. The series features nudity and adult themes not typically shown on broadcast TV and will be edited for length and content.

Tribune shares fell 83 cents to $44.81 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The news was announced after U.S. markets closed.

Though not the first of its kind, the sale represents a recent trend in TV of selling cable syndication rights to broadcast stations.

"There's no lock on quality coming off the broadcast networks today," said Scott Carlin, president of HBO domestic television distribution. "There's been some amazing programming being done on cable.

"Those programs that have the right ingredients will and can find their way into the free TV off-network marketplace."

Syndication rights to HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" were sold to the Bravo network last year.

The Emmy award-winning series starring Sarah Jessica Parker is up for 13 Emmys, including outstanding comedy series and outstanding lead actress, at this year's awards show, airing Sept 21.

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Bloomberg News and Reuters were used in compiling this report.

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