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Comcast, Sony Battle for Tech TV

San Francisco–Comcast and Sony Television are down to the wire in the sale of Tech TV. Comcast wants to use the network's carriage deals to extend its videogame channel, G4. But Sony is looking to broaden its U.S. portfolio, which is currently limited to a 50% stake in Game Show Network. Industry executives believe Comcast has the edge in negotiations.

Cablevision Holding Rate Hike to 3.5%

Bethpage, N.Y.—Cablevision Systems will cap next year's increase for basic and digital video services at 3.2%, from an average of $49.69 to $51.28. The MSO's enhanced-basic tier, "family cable," will increase 3.5% from an average of $42.80 to $44.31. That's lower than the 5% hike operator took last January and below the 7% average for the industry for 2003.The company plans no increase in high-speed data or telephone service.

Rainbow Targets Ethnic Viewers

Jericho, New York—Cablevision's Rainbow Media Holdings is launching two programming services aimed at ethnic communities. Subscription World Picks on Demand will offer on-demand content in Hindi, Spanish, Mandarin and Russian that will be refreshed every 30 days. World Picks Networks comprises 13 international networks piped in directly from their country of origin.

Presidential Programming

New York—Yet another TV network came under fire last week for a show about a past president. The History Channel's Kennedy-assassination documentary The Guilty Men
included one theory suggesting that late President Lyndon B. Johnson, was connected to the shooting. That sparked a backlash from former Johnson staffers, including Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti and former CNN chief Tom Johnson.

The network said in a statement: "The History Channel does not say that any of these theories are correct, nor does not in any way say that the theory in this program is correct."