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Howard Stern in TV pact with In Demand

New deal comes 10 months after Sirius agreement
/ Source: Reuters

In Demand Network on Wednesday said it has a three-year exclusive deal to begin airing a televised version of popular shock jock Howard Stern’s ribald radio show on one of its video-on-demand channels starting later this year.

The deal, which comes 10 months after Sirius Satellite Radio agreed to pay Stern $500 million to leap to satellite radio, means that Stern, who became a poster boy for bad behavior on U.S. airwaves, will by January no longer be heard or seen in original shows on free radio or basic cable.

Under the pact, In Demand will produce and televise Stern’s program, beginning with his remaining shows while he is still broadcasting on Viacom Inc.’s Infinity radio system, and continuing with shows taped once he moves in January to Sirius.

A spokesman for privately held In Demand, whose investors include cable operators Comcast Corp., Cox Communications and Time Warner Inc., said it will likely launch something akin to a “Howard Stern Channel” later this year. Viewers will pay a monthly subscription fee to their cable operator to watch the shows.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Stern’s program aired for 11 years on cable network E! Entertainment Television, which is owned jointly by Comcast and Walt Disney Co. Last month the network stopped airing new episodes of the risque TV show, which often features naked women and frank sexual talk.

According to published reports, E! and other cable networks were vying to be Stern’s next TV home. But those channels, which typically shy away from more graphic scenes of sex and violence, may have had their hands full should Stern’s program become even racier after moving to Sirius.