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Fox targets $1 billion for 'Simpsons' sale to cable, stations: source

(Reuters) - Twentieth Television, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, plans to market reruns of the Fox network's long-running animated comedy "The Simpsons" and is targeting a package of up to $1 billion, a person with knowledge of the plans said on Monday.

The studio first syndicated the show featuring Bart and Homer Simpson to TV stations in 1998. The new deal would license reruns to stations and cable channels at the same time, the person said.

Entering its 25th season, "The Simpsons" has 530 episodes, a number that will grow when its new license agreement starts. The show's creator Matt Groening would share in the proceeds.

News of the marketing effort was first reported in "TV Guide."

The company's fx cable channel is expected to have first claim to the show. Other potential buyers are Viacom, whose cable properties include Comedy Central and Nick at Nite, and Turner Broadcasting.

A Fox spokesman had no comment.

(Reporting By Ronald Grover)