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Conan, NCAA Put Turner In Big Leagues

David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting sales, distribution and sports, discussed the advertising market and outlook for the TV business. Asked how long will the broadcasters maintain their ad rate advantage over cable networks, he said: "There is only one genre left, entertainment, where there still is a difference. There are no differences in [advertising rates] in sports, news or kids programming, which has become a cable business. As we add Conan O'Brien, George Lopez, the NCAA, shows like "Fallen Skies" and "Glory Daze" and other original programs to our lineup, we will continue to close that gap."

Would Turner like to get bigger in sports? "We carry the best of the best in sports programming: the NCAA tournament, Major League Baseball, NBA basketball, the PGA championships and NASCAR. When I look at properties to purchase for our company, it has to be good for our advertisers, good for our audience and good for our distributors, and fit our brand. We certainly would look at properties like the NFL."



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