Cable Nets Start Year With New Deals

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New York— Cutting across the premium, Spanish-language, sports and basic-cable spectrum, distributors disclosed a number of significant carriage deals last week.

Showtime Networks Inc. and Mediacom Communications Corp. reached a renewal accord in which Showtime, The Movie Channel, Flix, Showtime HD and The Movie Channel HD remain on Mediacom’s “Two-Star Pak” tier. Mediacom digital-cable subscribers now gain access to Showtime on Demand and The Movie Channel on Demand.

PREMIUM SWEEP

The deal comes on the heels of last month’s announcement that the MSO and Home Box Office expanded their carriage agreement to include that premium channel’s subscription-VOD and HDTV services. Mediacom also distributes Starz Encore Group’s Starz on Demand.

Elsewhere, expanding its Latino-programming reach, Time Warner Cable extended its deal with Univision Communications Inc. — keeping the nation’s leading Spanish-language network in front of its subscriber base and ramping up carriage of cable network Galavisión and the media giant’s second broadcast service, TeleFutura.

Galavisión will pick up some 2.5 million homes, including rollouts on systems in Waco, Texas; Rochester, N.Y.; Milwaukee; Raleigh and Greensboro, N.C.; northeast and western Ohio and Nebraska.

TeleFutura will launch in Corpus Christi, Harlingen and Laredo, Texas; San Diego and Palm Springs, Calif.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Time Warner’s Philadelphia division. TeleFutura will gain around 1.5 million Time Warner subscribers.

TELEMUNDO IMPORT

In the first affiliate deal for a new cable network, Cablevision Systems Corp. last Tuesday rolled out Telemundo Puerto Rico to 1.3 million iO: Interactive Optimum digital subscribers throughout the New York-area and will add it to the iO en Español package.

The service — including news programming from Telemundo’s station in Puerto Rico, WKAQ-TV — is being marketed by Telemundo parent NBC Universal Cable.

Multichannel News first reported NBC’s plans to market the service last August.

Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Holdings LLC said it recently wrapped deals with DirecTV Inc., EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network, Comcast Corp., Adelphia Communications and Mediacom for AMC, WE: Women’s Entertainment, The Independent Film Channel, Fuse and Rainbow’s Fox Sports Net regional sports networks.

CEO Josh Sapan said the deals secured extant distribution and should lead to additional carriage for music network Fuse and IFC.

Elsewhere, an ESPN spokeswoman confirmed the sports programming giant had reached a long-term, far-reaching accord with Adelphia that secured, among other things, the launch of fledgling college network ESPNU and carriage for ESPN HD.

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