Oxygen Media has signed a multifaceted deal with AOL Time Warner Inc. that
will give its women's-oriented network carriage on Time Warner Cable systems,
including a presence in New York, as well as expanding its online strategic
alliance, the companies announced Tuesday. As part of the transaction, the value
of which was not disclosed, America Online will also expand its equity
investment in Oxygen.
The multiyear deal will make Oxygen available to 10 million Time Warner Cable
subscribers by the third quarter of 2002. The carriage will be predominantly
analog, but an MSO spokesman said Oxygen will be initially rolled out on its
digital packages because 'that's where the space is available now.'
He declined to specify digital launch dates other than for New York, which
will come on board 'this summer.' An Oxygen spokesperson said the network would
be available digitally in New York by July.
Time Warner Cable has some 2 million digital customers nationwide.
Oxygen, currently counting 14 million subscribers, has had only a limited
presence in New York, where RCN Corp. currently carries it in some 35,000 homes,
according to the Oxygen spokesperson.
Although both parties indicated that license fees were involved with the
agreement, neither would disclose the monthly per-subscriber costs.
As part of an enhanced marketing commitment, the distribution of Oxygen's
women-focused content -- from Oxygen.com,
Thrive Online, Oprah.com and Trackers.net -- will be significantly
increased across America Online's interactive brands. Oxygen's Web properties
are currently featured on the some of the content channels across the America
Online service, Netscape.com, ICQ, AOL.com
The agreement builds on the relationship that began in 1998, when America
Online became one of Oxygen's first investors. Other companies with investment
interests in Oxygen include The Walt Disney Co.'s ABC Inc., Paul Allen's Vulcan
Ventures Inc., Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Entertainment Group and LMVH Möet Hennessy