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FARMCLUB:
HARVESTING THE FRANCS

Convergence Outift Is Big With VC—Can It Stay Big Without WWF?
The recently announced Vivendi Universal merger raised all sorts of questions vis-a-vis Vizzavi and the possible role of Jimmy and Doug's Farmclub.com in the prospective megacorp's Internet strategy. Yet word from the inside has the company high on Farmclub and leaning toward giving the convergence venture a prominent place on the U.S. side of its digital totem pole.

Vivendi chieftain Jean-Marie Messier recently addressed the troops at Universal to assuage concerns about European regulators and other consolidation jitters. The European Commission said on 7/11 that it held sole power to gauge the antitrust aspects of the planned merger.

Observers have the French talking up FC to investors, using the TV show/Net package's potential for growth as a selling point for VU's planned grab of new-media marketshare stateside.

Meanwhile, will the Farmclub TV broadcast on USA take a hit from the network's loss of WWF wrestling, which gave the show a titanic lead-in audience? If the program hasn't been on the air long enough to establish a beachhead, what are the odds of getting slotted after, say, "Baywatch"?

In other Farmclub news, the multimedia outfit is now an official co-sponsor (with The Source) of the Dre/Snoop "Up in Smoke Tour" and has pacted with CTN Media Group to provide unique programming to the latter's broadcast arm College Television Network and Net locale Wetair.com. FC signed the deal once CTN agreed to pay for the keg.

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