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SouthPark tree trumps Madonna on WCNC

Madonna fans tuning in for Wednesday’s concert on NBC will get a show they weren’t expecting — the annual tree lighting at SouthPark mall.
WCNC-TV (Channel 36) will pre-empt the network special for the annual ceremony at SouthPark, which the station has broadcast live for five years.
“We had a prior commitment with SouthPark,” said Stuart Powell, president and general manager of WCNC. “We’re not making a statement with this one.”
“Madonna: The Confessions Tour — Live From London” generated controversy when it was first announced because her live show includes a scene in which she sings “Live to Tell” while suspended from a cross.
Before NBC announced in October that the scene was cut from the special, WCNC got about 300 complaints from viewers, Powell said.
Because of the preemption, the station has gotten about 20 complaints, he said.
One was from Logan Smith of Charlotte, a fan who went to Philadelphia to catch Madonna’s latest tour. “I was a little upset,” Smith said. “I think people who are expecting it to see it on TV are going to be a little shocked.”
Powell said that WCNC had contacted NBC about running the Madonna special late at night, but the network had not responded as of Tuesday afternoon.
Originally, NBC had scheduled the two-hour concert to begin at 9 p.m., but when it was moved back to 8 p.m., it conflicted with the SouthPark broadcast, which the station had contracted to air long ago, Powell said. WCNC’s “Carolina Traveler” will air during the 9-10 p.m. hour tonight.
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