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Cable's Trio Buys KTLA-TV Eyeballs

Cable network Trio is hitting the broadcast airwaves in Los Angeles. Well, at least for an hour. The arts channel is buying an hour block on The WB affiliate KTLA-TV March 15 to showcase its original documentary The Blockbuster Imperative.

This is Trio's second such time buy in a major market. Cable nets trying to make noise sometimes buy local cable access time, but leasing broadcast airwaves is more unusual. Last November, the Universal Television-owned channel bought a 90-minute block on Fox-owned WTXF-TV Philadelphia. Both buys are said to have cost in the neighborhood $500,000.

In the Los Angeles market, Trio is available to about 400,000 subscribers on Time Warner Cable and Comcast. It still needs carriage on Adelphia and Charter systems. Nationally, Trio has about 17 million subscribers.

In Los Angeles, Trio is hyping its March themed month "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls," which focuses on how sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll have influenced movies. Along with classic movies like Shampoo
and Easy Rider, Trio will air two original companion documentaries: Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
tracing sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll in early Hollywood; The Blockbuster Imperative
on box-office megahits, beginning with Jaws.

The sneak preview will air on KTLA-TV from 11 p.m. to midnight. Also, Trio is buying 40 billboards in the market and renting blimps and will air spots on KTLA-TV.