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NBC exex, affils air cable views

NEW YORK — A two-hour meeting among NBC affiliates and network execs allowed attendees to air grievances but apparently yielded little concrete resolution of a dispute over the use of network programs on NBC’s cable outlets.

The meeting Thursday of a dozen or so group station owners, representing most of NBC’s non-O&O affiliates, was termed “productive” by the network, which said both sides “agreed to the principle of exclusivity” for network pro-grams.

What they didn’t agree on is just what constitutes exclusivity, and it remains to be seen what reaction the affils will have to ongoing discussions of the issue. Most affils were in transit following the late-afternoon meeting and couldn’t be reached for comment on the meeting with CEO Bob Wright, NBC network prexy Neil Braun and John Damiano, senior VP, affiliate relations.

‘Need for experimentation’

Network execs said station owners “affirmed their support for MSNBC … and acknowledge the need for ex-perimentation and aggressive marketing” in areas like cable and new media. But NBC isn’t backing down from airing reruns of shows like “Dateline NBC” shortly after their network runs, nor has it offered any increased com-pensation to affils for the right to do so, sources said.

Instead, the web promised to meet “immediately” with a panel of affiliates to discuss “tactics for achieving mutual goals,” according to a statement.

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