WB web plan irks networks

Warner Bros.’ fifth-network blueprint has evoked the wrath of network competitors.

“I can’t see any of our affiliates going for that plan,” said ABC senior veep for affil relations George Newi.

In the roughly 25% of the country where no indie broadcast outlets are available, WB plans in effect to have two stations: one over-the-air outlet to carry the existing web and a cable channel that would air the WB Network and other syndicated fringe fare.

The move would provide the stations with a dual revenue stream — allowing them to split the profits with the cable systems and enhance their value.

But it also would likely involve on-air cross-promotion for WB, which has network competitors promising to do whatever they can to put the kibosh on that component of Warner’s fifth weblet.

Newi’s CBS counterpart Tony Malara also was dubious about the component of the plan involving affils of the Big Three and Fox.

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