Englewood, Colo. -- Liberty Media Group's tier of
Spanish-language services, Canales n, has won a corporate-carriage agreement with Comcast
Corp. -- the package's first hunting license with a major MSO other than
Tele-Communications Inc. -- officials said last week.
"This is a strong endorsement of the product,"
said David Jensen, vice president of Liberty, a TCI subsidiary.
Canales n is a digital tier, meant to be priced as a
premium option, of Spanish-language services including Discovery en Español, CNN en
Español, Fox Sports Américas, CBS TeleNoticias, CineLatino, BoxTejano, BoxExitos, Canal
9 and eight channels of DMX Latino-formatted digital audio.
Canales n is now carried on transponder 12 of TCI's
digital platform, Headend in the Sky.
Jensen noted that the service has done "small
deals" with such MSOs as Insight Communications Co., Adelphia Communications Corp.
and Tele-Media Corp.
"But this is our first large MSO-wide hunting
license" other than TCI, he said.
Jensen declined to disclose how many subscribers Canales n
currently has. But he said the digital tier passes 600,000 of the country's 8.3
million Hispanic TV homes, mainly via HITS and TCI.
Canales n is meant to be an acquisition tool for cable, to
increase its penetration in Hispanic "cable-never" homes, according to Jensen.
And Comcast has clusters in several markets with large Hispanic populations, such as
Philadelphia, northern New Jersey and Sacramento, Calif., he added.
A Comcast spokesman said the MSO will likely launch Canales
n in one market before the end of the first quarter. Comcast is still working on the
pricing for the Spanish-language tier, he added.