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Around & about / News and notes

TV dispute goes into overtime

Time Warner Cable Inc. and Sinclair Broadcast Group announced late Friday they had reached an agreement to extend a midnight Friday deadline for a new contract until Jan. 14, averting an interruption of some programming to Time Warner customers that carry Sinclair stations.

Sinclair also announced that it had agreed to the same extension with Bright House Networks, which also was confirmed late Friday night.

The parties have been bogged down in negotiations over how much the cable companies should pay to carry Sinclair TV stations in markets around the country. Local Sinclair stations -- including affiliates of NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox -- would have been dropped from channel lineups for roughly 4 million Time Warner customers and an unknown number of Bright House customers after midnight Friday without the extension.

Locally, the dispute would affect programming from Fox affiliate WUTV, Channel 29.

Time Warner Cable Inc. had vowed Friday to provide its cable customers with network TV stations from other cities if it lost the rights to carry local stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. after the old deadline. The arrangement would have meant that viewers would get access to major network programming if Sinclair pulled its signals once the deadline passes. Viewers would have lost local programs.

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Ex-Brave Lee agrees to join Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles and free agent first baseman Derrek Lee have reached an oral agreement on a one-year contract pending a physical.

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail disclosed the deal Friday. He has been looking for a power-hitting first baseman since Ty Wigginton left as a free agent for Colorado in mid-December.

The 35-year-old Lee split time between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves last season, totaling 19 homers and 80 RBIs in 148 games.

Lee brings much-needed punch to the Orioles, who were led in home runs last year by Luke Scott (27).

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Davis notches overall championship

Shani Davis posted the season's fastest time in the 1,500 meters Friday, winning his third race in two days at the U.S. speedskating championships at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah.

Davis posted a time of 1:42.95 to beat Trevor Marsicano's 1:44.80, following up victories in the 500 and 5,000 on Thursday. He was second in the 10,000 behind Jonathon Kuck, who won in 13:21.49. Davis finished in 13:28.92, and Marsicano was third at 13:32.34.

Davis and Petra Acker, a 16-year-old from Clifton Park, N.Y., are the U.S. allround champions.

From News and wire service reports.

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