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‘NORTH AND SOUTH’: CRITICS MORTIFIED, VIEWERS ENSLAVED

“North and South” may be marching strong in the ratings, but ABC continues to lose the seasonal war with NBC and CBS--and it’s costing. Broadcasting magazine conjectured that ABC owes as much as $20 million (some 200 free spots) in “make-goods” (compensation to advertisers)--and that “North and South” (priced at about $175,000 per 30-second spot) is being used as fodder.

An ABC spokesman conceded the latter point, but said it’s “not a wholesale giveaway. Very few spots were available--it was almost completely sold out. We have used a few spots to accommodate some longtime advertisers on make-goods. We’ve done the same with the World Series and Monday Night Football.”

And the $20-million figure? “Pure speculation.”


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