MNT Gets Desperate

Fox’s new MyNetworkTV (MNT) is buying Buena Vista’s hit prime time soap Desperate Housewives for its ten owned-and-operated stations for weekend syndication.  The two-year deal begins in 2008 and the MNT O&Os plan to run Desperate on Saturday and Sunday nights.

MNT is launching Sept. 5 with two hour strips of English language telenovellas. So far, the network has affiliates in 139 markets representing 82% of the country. Presuming its strategy for prime time soaps is successful, Desperate Housewives reruns would be an excellent weekend compliment.

The deal is said to be a straight barter arrangement to split advertising time, rather than giving the stations a cash license fee.

Lifetime has already bought the cable syndication rights for the show, also beginning in 2008, for about $500,000 per episode.