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Comcast expands carriage of Hispanic networks to 14M more subs

Wed, 07/27/2011 - 8:40am
Mike Robuck

Comcast announced that it's expanding the carriage of eight Hispanic networks by approximately 14 million subscribers.

Comcast agreed to carry more ethnic programming as part of its deal to buy the majority stake in NBCUniversal. Prior to the deal closing earlier this year, Comcast started offering more Hispanic programming across its footprint.

Among the public commitments made as part of Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal was an agreement to increase the distribution of at least three networks that are American Latino-owned or –controlled, or that target the Latino community, to at least 10 million digital basic subscribers within six months after the deal closed on Jan. 28.

Comcast said it would surpass that goal by 40 percent with the addition of 14 million subscribers across eight Hispanic networks. The eight Hispanic or Spanish-language networks that have expanded carriage on Comcast systems are Azteca America, Galavision, HITN, LATV, mun2, Telefutura, Telemundo and Univision.

"We are pleased to be bringing more Hispanic programming to millions of consumers across the U.S.," said David Jensen, vice president of content acquisition for Comcast Cable. "Comcast strives to deliver programming that brings the world to our customers, and I'm proud that we were able to go far beyond our commitment by delivering this great new programming."

Comcast said the increased carriage for the eight networks would be achieved primarily by adding the channels to new cable systems and markets. For example, the Hispanic Information & Telecommunications Network (HITN) will be added to the Comcast cable lineups in Boston, Atlanta, Nashville, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Miami, western New England, Michigan and Indiana. Azteca America will launch in New York and Philadelphia.

Comcast, which serves more than 23 million subscribers across the United States, provides more than 60 Hispanic or Spanish-language networks on most of its major cable systems.

"This partnership with Comcast is a step in our expansion strategy to meet the demand of the increasing Latino community," said Jose Luis Rodriguez, president and CEO of HITN. "Our programming will now reach millions of new households, providing our viewers the tools they need to navigate life in the U.S."

Since April, Comcast has announced plans to boost the reach of Mnet, the English-language Asian pop culture channel, by more than 2 million subscribers, while two African-American-focused networks, The Africa Channel and TV One, will be added to a combined 2.3 million new homes.

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