Comcast Eyeing Piece of the Action?

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Comcast Corp. may be considering developing its own action-sports channel, which could compete with Fox Cable Networks Group’s Fuel.

On Dec. 10, the MSO’s Comcast Programming Ventures unit obtained several trademarks for new network brands, including AWE: Air, Water, Earth; A.C.E.: Adventure Competition Entertainment; and GO Network.

The nation’s largest MSO -- which has said in recent months that it wants to take advantage of its wide reach and launch new cable networks -- also trademarked the network brands AWE Network and ACE Network.

AWE is a familiar brand for Comcast. The MSO’s Outdoor Life Network launched an action-sports series in September called AWE (Air, Water, Earth).

Comcast officials declined to comment on the trademarks, but one source familiar with Comcast’s thinking said the company “was preserving a number of long-term options.”

The source said the trademarks Comcast obtained for a possible action-sports network don’t involve its joint venture with Sony Corp. After teaming up to buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. last year for $4.9 billion, Comcast and Sony said they would work to develop new cable channels.

Officials at Fox Cable declined to comment on Comcast’s move to obtain trademarks relating to the action-sports genre.

For more on Comcast’s possible entry into the action-sports arena, please see Steve Donohue’s story on page three of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.