ZDTV -- after signing up six new affiliates, including
Charter Communications Inc. and InterMedia Partners -- is on target to hit the 8
million-subscriber mark by the end of the third quarter, officials said last week.
InterMedia has already launched ZDTV -- the 24-hour network
on computers and the Internet -- on expanded basic on its 280,000-subscriber system in
Nashville, Tenn., and its 122,000-subscriber operation in Louisville, Ky., ZDTV officials
And Charter rolled out ZDTV in July to 5,000 subscribers at
its 15,000-home system in Newnan, Ga., a Charter spokeswoman said.
Additional launches are planned at Charter and InterMedia
systems, although specific rollout schedules weren't provided.
ZDTV also has new deals with Buford Television, Daniels
Cablevision, Falcon Cable TV Corp. and FrontierVision Partners L.P. Several of those
operators, such as Buford, are carrying ZDTV on digital via Headend in the Sky.
Mike Mason, ZDTV's vice president of affiliate sales
and marketing, declined to specify exactly what the network's distribution is now,
only saying that it was between the second-quarter mark of 6 million homes and the looming
target of 8 million.
"We're closer to 8 million than 6 million,"
At 8 million, only about 4.5 million of ZDTV's homes
will be cable, with the rest from DirecTv Inc.'s 3.5 million direct-broadcast
ZDTV, which just celebrated its 100th day on the air, has
also cut carriage deals with Tele-Communications Inc. and Cox Communications Inc.
Charter, according to a spokeswoman, finds that ZDTV is
"a natural fit" for its subscribers as it rolls out its "Charter
Pipeline" high-speed Internet service.
In a similar fashion, Prime Cable has rolled out ZDTV in
Las Vegas, where it has a 350,000-subscriber system, and it is using the network to help
promote its own high-speed-data product, "Express Net." Prime asked ZDTV if it
would allow talent from its shows, Late Botello and Leo Laporte, to appear at an event at
a CompUSA store in Las Vegas, Prime director of marketing Rick Cable said.
On July 15, a 115-degree day, several-hundred people showed
up at the store to see the pair, Cable said.
"I was surprised by their fan base," he said.
"People drove quite a ways to see them."
ZDTV, an affiliate of Ziff-Davis, has signed up a host of
additional advertisers in recent months, including America Online Inc., Comdisco, Cubic,
Hewlett Packard Co., PSI Net and Symantec Corp.