Chicago -- On the two-year anniversary of connecting
its first cable customer, Ameritech New Media said last Wednesday that it has begun
offering cable service in Trenton, Mich. -- its 50th operating market.
The Ameritech Corp. unit has 72 franchises, in the Chicago,
Detroit, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, markets, including 24 operating systems in
Michigan. Its Americast cable service claims more than 100,000 subscribers, and its
franchise territories cover 1.2 million homes, which represents about 10 percent of
Ameritech's five-state phone territory.
Last Monday, SBC Communications Inc. announced plans to
acquire Ameritech in a merger that valued Ameritech at about $62 billion. Until that deal
closes, possibly in mid-1999, ANM will proceed on a "business-as-usual" pace
that includes adding new markets, company officials said.
As in other communities, the Trenton system -- which is
competing against incumbent Tele-Communications Inc. -- offers about 90 channels, with a
60-channel expanded-basic package retailing for $25.95 per month, a spokesman said.
Ameritech said its lineup includes several channels that are not available on TCI's
system, including CNNfn, Country Music Television and Sundance Channel. Trenton has about
8,500 homes and 20,000 residents.