Ameritech New Media began offering cable television in its
26th community this year when it unveiled its service in Hazel Park, Mich., last week.
The Chicago-based programming arm of Ameritech Corp. has
begun marketing its Americast programming package in the community of 7,400 households,
where it is competing against MediaOne, spokesman Geoff Potter said.
A suburb of Detroit, Hazel Park is the 10th Michigan venue
where Ameritech has launched service this year.
Overall, the company now has 83 franchises covering well
over 1 million households. It has 65 systems up and running in the Chicago, Detroit,
Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, areas.
"For the first time ever, Hazel Park cable viewers can
enjoy the choice, control and convenience that comes with competition," Margaret
Stender, Ameritech New Media's vice president of marketing, said in a statement.
The company's marketing efforts advises viewers that
its 90-channel expanded basic package includes several offerings not carried by MediaOne,
including Black Entertainment Television and The Golf Channel, Travel Channel,
International Channel, EWTN and Toon Disney channels.
Ameritech is currently serving a portion of Hazel Park,
with plans to launch in the remaining parts of the community as it completes construction
of its fiber optic network.
MediaOne, meanwhile, has taken steps to protect its 4,700
subscribers in Hazel Park.
It recently completed a rebuilt of its network to 750
megahertz, with two-way capability. The rebuild will allow for introduction of MediaOne
Express Internet Access service in the coming weeks, spokesman Dave Woods said.
"There's no word on digital or telephony, but as
a general rule we offer these services in areas that have been rebuilt. We just don't
have a time frame at the moment," Wood added.