CBS, Discovery in cable deal

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CBS Corp., New York, signed a letter of intent with Discovery Communications, Bethesda, Md., to form a 50-50 joint venture to operate the struggling CBS Eye on People cable TV network. Discovery will be the managing partner of the channel--which will be renamed Eye on People--though a deal to have Discovery take over ad sales is still to be worked out. CBS Eye on People is only available in 11 million homes, not enough to make it viable as a broad-based vehicle for advertisers. Don Mizner, president of CBS Cable, said CBS had been "concerned about cash flow losses," in running the channel, though he declined to give a dollar amount. No money would change hands in the deal; if closed, Discovery would take over the funding for the channel. After it puts in as much money as CBS has, the channel will be co-funded by both companies.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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