4 more MSO’s ink for ESPN2

CapCities/ABC and Hearst Corp. have lined up four more deals with cable systems for carriage of their owned-and-operated stations linked to the launch of second basic cable service ESPN2.

The largest of the four is Times Mirror Cable Television, the nation’s 11 th-largest multisystem operator, with 1.2 million subscribers.

The other MSOs are Crown Media Inc. (the U.S.’ 17th-largest, with 820,000 subscribers), Maclean Hunter Cable TV (24th, 535,000 subs) and Rifkin & Associates (32nd, 355,000 subs).

CapCities/ABC and Hearst have now announced deals with 20 cable operators, including Time Warner, Continental and Viacom. Those deals cover the eight ABC stations and six Hearst outlets. ESPN is 80% owned by CapCities/ABC; Hearst holds the balance.

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