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Pax TV Gets NBC Programming

NBC cut a wide programming deal with Paxson Communications Corp. last week, letting Pax TV distribute NBC News and Olympic Games trials programming.

NBC recently purchased 32 percent of Paxson.

Under terms of the deal, announced last Tuesday, Pax TV will distribute 38 hours of NBC U.S. Olympics Team trials programming from June 3 through Sept. 10.

While NBC's CNBC and MSNBC cable channels will carry more than 270 hours of Olympics programming beginning in September, no programming from the trials will appear on the cable channels, NBC Sports spokesman Mike McCarley said.

McCarley and Paxson spokeswoman Nancy Udell noted that the companies haven't announced whether Pax TV will also distribute Olympics programming.

Paxson and NBC also agreed to distribute NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw on Pax TV Monday through Friday at 7:30 p.m.-one hour after the show airs on NBC-beginning in May.

Pax TV stations will also air the local news broadcasts from NBC owned-and-operated stations in their markets.

The companies called the news deal a trial, but they noted that it's "anticipated that the local and national news block will become a permanent part of the Pax schedule" this fall.

NBC Cable is still pitching MSOs on long-term renewals for CNBC and MSNBC, which include monthly surcharges for Olympics programming on both networks. In January, NBC Cable said 150 operators and satellite providers had signed up for the package.

Operators that don't agree to the surcharges will be given separate CNBC and MSNBC feeds during the Olympics, which will contain reruns of CNBC and MSNBC shows.

Sources said Time Warner Cable, Comcast Corp. and Cablevision Systems Corp. still haven't come to terms with NBC on the surcharges for the Olympics programming.

A Comcast source said the company's talks with NBC Cable are focused on the Olympics programming since the MSO already has long-term deals in place for CNBC and MSNBC. "We're not close to a deal," the source said, explaining that the companies are at odds on "economic expectations."

CNBC spokesman Dave Anderson said he couldn't confirm which operators have agreed to the Olympics package.