NCTC renews four program services
NBC Universal has engineered a renewal of USA Network and three other program services to the NCTC (National Cable TV Cooperative), a buying consortium that reaches more than 8 million subscribers.The NCTC “crafted an agreement that brings savings to our members and operational efficiencies to NBC Universal,” said Frank Hughes, senior VP of programming for the NCTC, which encompasses more than 1,100 independent cable operators in all 50 states. Before NBC bought Universal two years ago, the network’s cable operation faced off in some tense negotiations with the NCTC. For example, many NCTC members refused to pay the surcharge for Olympics coverage by CNBC and MSNBC. These NCTC cable operators ended up doing a deal for CNBC and MSNBC without the Olympics. In addition to USA, new contract covers Universal HD, which offers series like “Battlestar Galactica” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in high def; Sleuth, a 24/7 channel that carries TV shows including “The A-Team” and “Miami Vice” and movies such as “Casino” and “The Jackal”; and mun2, the bilingual net that programs for Latino young adults. In a previous deal, the NCTC agreed to take such NBC U networks as the Sci Fi Channel, Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC.