Burbank, Calif. -- The WeB, The WB Television
Network's cable service, secured carriage with more cable systems.
The WeB said it has signed with systems owned by Century
Communications Corp., Midcontinent Cable Co., Chambers Communications Corp., Fanch
Communications Inc., Greater Media Inc., Harron Communications Corp. and TCA Cable TV Inc.
So far, The WeB, which launches Sept. 21, has struck deals
to be distributed in 74 of the 111 smaller DMAs -- those ranked No. 100 and smaller --
that it has targeted, said Lynn Stepanian, The WeB's vice president of programming.
Earlier this year, The WeB closed carriage deals with its corporate sibling, Time Warner
Cable, and with Tele-Communications Inc.
The WB is rolling out its 24-hour service, The WeB, in
order to fill in its distribution in markets where it doesn't have TV-station
affiliates. The WeB is partnering in those DMAs with TV stations -- which are promoting
and selling local ads for The WeB -- and with cable systems.
The WeB's pitch to cable operators is that it is
giving them a "cable-exclusive local channel, with great programming that's
free, from the fifth network," Stepanian said.
The WeB's schedule, unveiled last week, is 72 percent
original programming, including WB Network primetime fare such as Dawson's Creek
and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as syndicated shows such as Friends
reruns, The Rosie O'Donnell Show and The Jenny Jones Show.