Fright Channel Eyes July Launch

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Las Vegas— Entering an arena already occupied by media giants Comcast and NBC Universal, a veteran TV producer is looking to launch a horror network, The Fright Channel, on Friday the Thirteen in July.

The independent service's founder and president, Rob Claridge, said last week he plans to buy blocks of time on cable systems in Los Angeles and New York so he can get his network off the ground.

At a press conference at The Cable Show, Claridge said he has assembled original horror content, such as never-before-seen movies, and also has a slate of original programs in development. The Fright Channel has formed a “Fright Force,” a band of independent producers who will create and trade content, according to Claridge.

He noted that NBCU has a horror channel, Chiller, but said it is only carried on DirecTV. And Comcast's horror service, FearNet, is a VOD service, not a linear channel, Claridge said. That means that a good chunk of cable subscribers who are horror fans have no place to go for that content, he added.

The Fright Channel launched its Web site, Thefrightchannel.tv, this past weekend, and plans to start broadband broadcasts later in the year.

Claridge is also developing an offering for kids, Fright Jr., featuring educational content with a horror flare.

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