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Discovery Kids parts with NBC

Cabler to focus on increasing its visibility solo

NBC and Discovery Kids will not renew a pact that supplied the broadcaster with content for its Saturday morning kids’ programming block.

Deal was inked four years ago; since then, Discovery Kids has more than doubled its number of subscribers, from 21 million to 43 million.

Termination of the deal will allow the cabler to focus on increasing the visibility of its own channel. According to Marjorie Kaplan, exec veep and G.M. of Discovery Kids, the net is working on 100 hours of new programming, including second series of “Flight 29 Down” and “Endurance.”

Although there is no word yet on NBC’s plans, the end of the partnership marks the second recent split between cablers and broadcasters over Saturday mornings. In January, CBS and Nickelodeon dropped a seven-year programming deal, due to be replaced this fall by “CBS’ Secret Saturday Morning Slumber Party.”

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