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Liberty, Malone Sue NBC Over CNBC

Liberty Media Corp. filed a lawsuit against NBC in Delaware State Court last week alleging that the network still owes it fees from chairman John Malone helping it to start up CNBC, Bloomberg News reported.

The dispute stems from a 16-year agreement for CNBC to be carried on cable systems formerly owned by Tele-Communications Inc., of which Malone was chairman and CEO.

Malone maintained control of Liberty, which had been TCI’s programming arm, after AT&T Corp. bought the MSO in 1999.

According to Bloomberg, NBC told Liberty last month that Comcast Corp. -- which now owns the former TCI systems -- had "repudiated" the old agreement with TCI and that NBC would pay a lower fee to Liberty than it had in the past.

The suit also claimed that CNBC's advertising revenue for 2001 and 2002 was underreported in financial statements NBC provides to Liberty to calculate fees under the agreement, Bloomberg said.