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FX affils with Cablevision

Fox’s general entertainment cablenet FX announced Tuesday that it has signed an affiliation agreement with Cablevision Systems Corp. — the nation’s sixth-ranked MSO — to distribute FX to an undisclosed number of Cablevision’s more than 2.9 million subscribers in 18 states.

Initial rollout of FX to Cablevision homes has begun in Connecticut and is expected to eventually penetrate the operator’s chief strongholds in Boston, Cleveland and especially metro New York (where Cablevision boasts 1.7 million sub households).

Pending finalizing of an agreement with Tele-Communications Inc. in early ’98, Cablevision will increase its New York base to more than 2.5 million customers, making it the dominant MSO in the market.

However, as is typically the case with slow-rollout affiliation deals, it’s uncertain just when FX will be added to a majority of those Cablevision homes. Neither company was willing to supply specific numbers of Tuesday.

FX, which greatly upped its profile in August with the highly rated off-network launches of “The X-Files” and “NYPD Blue” in primetime, is currently available in 33 million homes. It launched in June 1994.

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