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Mediacom, Hallmark Renew Deal

Mediacom Communications reached a multiyear carriage renewal for Hallmark Channel, with the network continuing to be available to more than 1 million of the cable company’s customers, officials said Wednesday.

“Hallmark Channel is a top 10 [network] with original movies and classic series all delivered at a fair and reasonable price,” Mediacom chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso said in a prepared statement. “We always try to serve the best interests of our subscribers, and there are few networks that offer them better programming or value than Hallmark Channel.”

The Mediacom deal represents one of the first successes for Hallmark parent Crown Media Holdings as far as nailing down pending carriage renewals. The programmer has affiliation agreements expiring with some of its major distributors, representing roughly 80% of its carriage, on or before the end of 2007.

“As recent events have shown, Rocco not only understands fair value, but he is also willing to fight for the best interests of his subscribers,” Crown president Henry Schleiff said in a prepared statement, referring to Commisso’s recently ended retransmission-consent battle with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

“We consistently deliver quality original programming and have been able to reach this agreement on mutually equitable terms, reflecting both Mediacom’s and Hallmark’s emphasis on quality, fair price and service to our respective subscribers and viewers,” Schleiff added

Hallmark has about 75.5 million subscribers.