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CityVision may export local format

USA looking at L.A., Chi, others for expansion

Barry Diller’s USA Broadcasting is on the move.

After launching the CityVision local programming format on its Miami TV station last June, the USA station group is seriously considering rolling out the format in four or five more TV markets this year. Nothing is set in stone yet, but USA brass are said to be mulling over such markets as Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston and Dallas for the CityVision treatment. Reps for USA declined to comment.

USA Broadcasting, part of Diller’s USA Networks Inc., owns the most valuable undeveloped TV real estate in the country, with a 17-station group that covers 10 of the Top 15 markets. At present, those UHF outlets are 24-hour barker channels for USA’s Home Shopping Network, but they have the potential to be much more.

CityVision was conceived by Diller as a means of counteracting the dearth of homegrown programming on local TV stations. In Miami, USA’s WAMI outlet has gotten a lot of attention by opening a storefront TV studio in the heart of the city’s fashionable Lincoln Road. The station has already won local Emmy kudos for its news programming, but ratings and advertising revenue have not grown as quickly as WAMI’s reputation.

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