Scripps Networks' decision to change Fine Living Network to the Cooking Channel has given it a venue to place shows that might otherwise have gone to rival networks and try them out for a potential spot on its more widely seen sibling, Food Network. Cooking Channel, which has the same 57 million-home footprint as Fine Living, has seen improvement in its ad rates, with Cooking's CPMs now at 85% of Food Network's rates.
E.W. Scripps Co. will buy cable channel Great American Country for $140 million from Jones Media Networks. Great American, which airs country-music entertainment on cable and satellite systems, is the latest television venture by Scripps. The newspaper chain also owns Home & Garden Television,Food Network, the Do It Yourself Network and Fine Living.
Time Warner has changed tactics in its bid for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer by placing an all-cash bid of between $4.5 billion and $4.6 billion for the studio. The bid makes Time Warner more competitive with Sony and its more complicated offer of about $4.7 billion.
Cingular has teamed up with ABC/ESPN for a new text-messaging college football campaign. Using the concept that has worked for events such as reality TV shows, Cingular and ABC/ESPN will let mobile-phone users vote weekly on their favorite college player through text messaging .