Comcast drops 75 new channels into Calif. communities

Mon, 07/26/2010 - 9:10am
Mike Robuck

Comcast will add 75 new channels, including 58 HD and 14 international networks, in its Fresno footprint this week, with an additional 36 communities in Comcast's California Region slated to receive the new networks.

The new channels were the result of Comcast's analog-to-digital conversion project, which it started two years ago under the internal name of Project Cavalry. By using digital terminal adapters (DTAs), Comcast is able to free up bandwidth for HD and VOD offerings, as well as clear up some room for other services such as DOCSIS 3.0 data tiers.

The all-digital project has been completed in Portland, Ore., Seattle and San Francisco, and Comcast's goal is to have it in 80 percent of its systems by year's end.

Comcast expects to have the digital migration completed in other areas of California later this summer. Once the migrations are wrapped up, Comcast launches the new channels in each market under its "Xfinity TV" brand.

"We've heard from customers that they can't get enough HD and multicultural programming, so we're excited to exponentially increase our offering of those networks and give even more value to our customers as part of our digital upgrade," said Curt Henninger, senior vice president of Comcast's California Region. "These channel launches are about delivering on Comcast's promise to customers that by converting to digital, we could offer more of the products and services they want, right away."

Starting Thursday, the new programming will be available to residential homes and businesses in the following cities: Fresno, Clovis, Coalinga, Del Rey, Dinuba, Dos Palos, Exeter, Farmersville, Firebaugh, Fowler, Friant, Hanford, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Lemoore, Madera, Mendota, Parlier, Pinedale, Porterville, Reedley, Riverdale, San Joaquin, Sanger, Selma, Tulare and Visalia. Merced, Atwater, Crows Landing, Grayson, Gustine, Los Banos, Santa Nella and Winton will launch the programming on Friday.

The new HD networks will include: BET HD, Biography Channel HD, Bravo HD, Cartoon Network HD, CBS Sports HD, CMT HD, CNBC HD, CNN Headline News HD, Comedy Central HD, Disney XD HD, E! HD, Encore HD, ESPN News HD, ESPNU HD, Fox News Channel HD, Fuse HD, FX-West HD, G4 HD, Hallmark Channel HD, Hallmark Movie Channel HD, HBO Comedy HD, HBO Latino HD, HBO Zone HD, HSN HD, IFC HD, Lifetime HD, Lifetime Movie Network HD, MGM HD, MSNBC HD, MTV HD,  NBA League Pass Team HD, NBA TV HD, NHL Network HD, Nickelodeon HD, Outdoor Channel HD, Planet Green HD, QVC HD, Showtime Too HD, Speed HD, Spike HD, Starz Comedy HD, Starz Edge HD, Starz Kids and Family HD, Style HD, TCM Turner Classic Movies HD, Tennis Channel HD, Thriller MAX HD, ActionMAX HD, Travel Channel HD, truTV HD, TV One HD, VH1 HD, WE HD, The Weather Channel HD and two NHL/MLB League Pass HD networks.

In addition to these new HD channels, Comcast is also offering 4,000 HD choices with its on-demand service.

Customers who do not receive HD channels will have new programming options, as well. Three new SD networks are launching – art and culture network Ovation TV, The Africa Channel and Retirement Living. Fourteen new international premium networks will be available, including Antenna Satellite (Greek), Band Internacional (Brazilian), C1R (Russian), Deutsche Welle (German), GMA Life (Filipino), MYX, PFC 100% Futebol (Brazilian), RTPi (Portuguese), STAR India GOLD (South Asian), STAR India NEWS (South Asian), STAR ONE (South Asian), TV Globo (Brazilian), tvK (Korean) and VIJAY (South Asian).

Like Time Warner Cable has done, Comcast is also realigning some channels by genres, which makes them easier to find and provides the same channel lineup across the state.

Comcast's California Region, based in Livermore, Calif., serves more than 2.3 million customers in northern and central California. Comcast employs more than 7,000 local residents across the region.

More Broadband Direct 7/26/10:

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•  Broadband Briefs for July 26, 2010

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