THE CW AND ACME COMMUNICATIONS ANNOUNCE LONG-TERM TELEVISION STATION AFFILIATION AGREEMENTS
America�s Fifth Broadcast Network Increases National Coverage
To Almost 60% Of The Country
ACME�s Full WB Station Portfolio (In Albuquerque, Knoxville, Dayton, Ft. Myers, Green Bay, Champaign and Madison) To Join Rapidly Growing CW Affiliate Line-Up
ACME To Become Third Largest CW Affiliate Group Based On Number Of Stations
The CW and ACME Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACME) announced today the signing of long-term affiliation agreements for ACME�s television stations in Albuquerque-Santa Fe, Knoxville, Dayton, Ft. Myers-Naples, Green Bay-Appleton, Champaign-Springfield-Decatur and Madison.
The addition of these seven ACME Communications stations increases The CW�s national coverage to almost 60% of the country. America�s fifth broadcast network has affiliates in 19 of the Top 20 markets and 26 in the Top 30.
The newly signed affiliates are: KWBQ-TV Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM; WBXX-TV Knoxville, TN; WBDT-TV Dayton, OH; WTVK-TV Ft. Myers-Naples, FL; WIWB-TV Green Bay-Appleton, WI; WBUI-TV Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, IL; and WBUW-TV Madison, WI..
These stations are in the 46th, 58th, 59th, 66th, 69th, 82nd and 85th largest markets in the country, respectively, and represent 3.01% of total U.S. TV households. All seven stations are currently affiliated with The WB.
Doug Gealy, ACME�s President and COO, noted: �Affiliating our television stations with The CW is an outstanding business opportunity because it immediately enhances the value of our television assets. When you factor in a primetime schedule that includes returning shows that are already viewer and advertiser favorites, a multi-tiered marketing effort that is going to be innovative and impactful, and an accomplished executive team leading the new network, it creates a compelling formula for success. Additionally, with an improved lineup of popular programming still targeted at young adults, we believe The CW�s content will only serve to strengthen our connection with this core audience in our local markets.�
�The addition of these ACME Communications stations as affiliates of The CW bolsters our burgeoning station line-up,� said John Maatta, Chief Operating Officer, The CW. �It also extends a valued business relationship we began with ACME nine years ago when their newly formed company affiliated their television stations with The WB. During that time ACME�s station group has produced impressive ratings and revenue growth, and in fact recently their Knoxville and Dayton stations tied for the #2 ratings spot among all WB affiliates in the November 2005 sweep period for Adults 18-49. That speaks to how well the ACME stations are managed, which includes their savvy station branding, purchasing the best available programming and providing outstanding service to their communities. With these new, long-term affiliation agreements ACME now has the third largest number of CW affiliates, after Tribune and CBS. We�re looking forward to growing our new partnership, and appreciate ACME�s support.�
On January 24, CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment announced their intent to form a new 5th network, The CW, to be launched in the fall of 2006. The new broadcasting network will be a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation, with each company owning 50%.
In an important strategic move that secures major market distribution for The CW, it was also announced on January 24th that Tribune Broadcasting and the CBS Corporation's UPN affiliates have agreed separately to sign 10-year affiliation agreements with the new network. The combination of Tribune's 16 major market stations (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Houston, Miami, Denver, St. Louis, Portland, Indianapolis, San Diego, Hartford, New Orleans and Albany) and the 11 CBS-owned UPN major market affiliates (Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa, Seattle, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, West Palm Beach, Norfolk and Providence) cover the top 13 television markets, 20 of the top 25 television markets and have a total coverage area of more than 47% of the country.
The remainder of the network's distribution system will be a combination of selected current UPN and The WB stations.
The CW will incorporate The WB's current scheduling model, which consists of a 6 night-13 hour primetime lineup including Monday through Friday nights from 8-10 (EST/PST); Sundays from 7-10 (EST/PST); Sunday from 5-7 (EST/PST) outside of primetime as well as a Monday thru Friday afternoon block from 3-5 (EST/PST) and a 5-hour Saturday morning animation block. Together, the network will program 30 hours a week over seven days for its affiliated stations.
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and UPN), cable television (Showtime), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Television and King World), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), theme parks (Paramount Parks), digital media (CBS Digital Media Group and CSTV Networks) and consumer products (CBS Consumer Products). For more information, log on to www.cbscorporation.com.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, a fully-integrated, broad-based entertainment company, is a global leader in the creation, production, distribution, licensing and marketing of all forms of entertainment and their related businesses. Warner Bros. Entertainment, a Time Warner Company, stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry, from feature films to television, home video/DVD, animation, comic books, interactive entertainment and games, product and brand licensing, international cinemas and broadcasting.
ACME Communications currently owns and operates eight broadcast television stations in medium-sized markets across the United States. Seven of their eight stations are affiliated with The WB Television Network, making them the fourth largest WB Network affiliated station group in the country. ACME�s second station in Albuquerque is a UPN affiliate. Their television stations broadcast in markets that cover, in aggregate, approximately 3% of the total U.S. population.