Big Bump for ESPN Deportes

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ESPN Deportes just got a 50% distribution bump via DirecTV carriage, and Comcast carriage in Sacramento, Calif., and other markets is coming later this week.

The Spanish-language sports service, which launched in 2004, said it gained about 1 million homes when DirecTV added it to its Spanish-language tier Wednesday, rising to about 3 million.

That’s not counting Comcast rollouts that are to start later in the week, network spokeswoman Santa Brito said, adding that ESPN Deportes could only confirm Sacramento as a specific market at this time. Discussions are still continuing as to whether the channel will be carried on digital basic in some Comcast markets or, as in the case of Sacramento, on a pay tier, she added.

General manager Lino Garcia said in an interview for Multichannel News’Hispanic Television Update newsletter, “The Comcast deal overall for ESPN was done in December, but the distribution is going to realize itself this week same as the DirecTV deal. That's great for our network. It gets us in front of many more homes. That's a good thing for us, and it's a good thing for the Latino sports fan in the United States.”

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