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KUTV VALUED AT $109 MILLION

In papers filed with the Federal Communications Commission, KUTV-Ch. 2 is valued at a whopping $109 million - perhaps three times what it might have sold for a year ago.

NBC isn't paying quite that much to gain control of the station (and the production company TeleScene). The network is buying only the 88 percent that doesn't belong to the Hatch family.But 88 percent is still $95,920,000, a rather hefty chunk of change.

UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Whether KUTV remains an NBC station is still uncertain.

What is certain is that Fox is out of the running to acquire CBS' much-coveted station, WCAU, in Philadelphia. Fox is buying its current affiliate in that city instead.

Which means NBC is all but certain to end up owning WCAU and all but certain to be trading some of its owned stations to CBS for WCAU. A CBS-NBC trade may be announced early next week.

Whether KUTV will be one of those stations is the question that has yet to be answered.

NO TWO-STATION DEAL WITH ABC: Both Bonneville International CBS affiliates - KSL in Salt Lake City and KIRO in Seattle - are in danger of losing their network ties because of complex deals that involve a whole string of sales and trades.

(KSL road runs through Philadelphia - it may lose its affiliation if NBC trades KUTV to CBS. And KIRO's road runs through Dallas, and the scenario that would cause KIRO to be dropped by CBS is reportedly a done deal.)

But rumors that Bonneville might work a two-city deal to have both its stations become ABC affiliates were nothing but rumors. The ABC affiliate in Seattle just signed a long-term agreement with that network - meaning KIRO has no chance of taking the ABC affiliation away.

Salt Lake City's ABC affiliate, KTVX-Ch. 4, has no such long-term agreement, but the likelihood of KSL becoming an ABC station is still remote.

There are widespread rumors in Seattle that KIRO is about to be sold - possibly to Meredith, whose diverse holdings include electronic media and magazines like Good Housekeeping. But KIRO President and CEO Ken Hatch told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "There is no truth to this rumor about KIRO being for sale, as far as I know."

Stay tuned . . .

FOUL "BALL": Although Fox is premiering its new sitcom "Hardball" on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on Ch. 13, I can't tell you much about it.

The original pilot for this baseball comedy, which was sent to critics, was pretty terrible. So the producers scrapped that and shot a new pilot.

But that wasn't sent to critics - which is always a bad sign. (The former president of Fox Entertainment once admitted publicly that one series wasn't previewed for critics because it was just so dreadful.)