Originally created 09/26/03

UPN reaches affiliate agreement with Fox-owned stations



NEW YORK -- In a major boost to its survival prospects, the UPN network reached a multiyear agreement Wednesday to keep nine Fox-owned stations in major cities as UPN affiliates.

The deal affects UPN stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Orlando and Baltimore.

UPN and Fox Television officials would reveal no details about the agreement, including its duration. It's retroactive to Sept. 1.

The negotiations were closely watched in the television industry. UPN, the Viacom-owned network started in 1996, would have been hard-pressed to survive without strong affiliates in these cities.

The stations represent roughly a quarter of the U.S. television households.

"We are excited and enthusiastic about UPN's future, and a key component of that future is this extension of our affiliation agreements with these Fox stations," said Leslie Moonves, the CBS chairman who also oversees UPN.

UPN's big draws are professional wrestling, the "Star Trek" series "Enterprise" and comedies with largely black casts.