BREAKING NEWS: CBS To "DRAMATICALLY SLASH" Licensing Fees To Sony-Bell and P&G!

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In an article about, what else, the decline of the daytime soap opera, Conde Nast's Portfolioreveals that in the next two months CBS will follow NBC's lead by slicing the licensing fees it pays independent production companys Sony, Bell Dramatic Serial Company and Proctor and Gamble Productions/TeleNext for their four soaps.

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 The financial crisis is hurting daytime soaps more than other shows, and may well doom them. Not so long ago, there were 16 soaps. Today, there are eight—with more cancellations seemingly imminent in the face of TiVo, D.V.R.'s, decreased market share, declining ratings, and the loss of financially pressed auto dealers as local advertisers.

"I see this moment as the turning point for soaps," a top CBS executive told me. "No format has been hit harder than daytime serials."

The executive says that within the next two months the network plans to dramatically slash the licensing fees it pays to the independent production companies that make its soaps. NBC recently did the same to the fees paid for its lone entry, Days of Our Lives—which have recently run about $1.8 million a week."