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Cablers ready to relay U2

In an unusual arrangement, Viacom sisters MTV and Showtime will simulcast live Wednesday night’s U2 concert from Mexico City. But the plan calls for MTV to sign off 45 minutes into the show and leave Showtime to telecast the final 90 minutes solo.

The concert, which is being tape-delayed to the West Coast for airing at 11 p.m., marks the first time the two cablers are simulcasting a live event (if only for part of it). However, the two collaborated on the launch of the Showtime series “The Hunger” last July, with MTV running a version of the premiere the same night it launched on Showtime.

The U2 show originates from Foro Sol Autodromo Rodriguez Stadium in Mexico City. The motive behind MTV’s early dropping from the simulcast would appear to be a desire to drive Showtime subs, though both networks have granted the simulcast curiously little promotion.

Executives from neither Showtime nor MTV were available prior to the Thanksgiving holiday for comment.

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