ZDTV, the network on computers and the Internet, which
launched last week, has reached an affiliation agreement with Tele-Communications Inc. for
both analog and digital carriage.
There is no specific rollout schedule for the deal, which
essentially allows the San Francisco-based network to negotiate contracts with TCI systems
nationwide, according to ZDTV president and CEO Larry Wangberg. ZDTV will also be offered
as part of TCI's Headend in the Sky service, the digital-video platform that the MSO
is rolling out across the country.
"Although an analog situation is most attractive, it
made sense for us to also enthusiastically embrace digital," Wangberg said.
ZDTV, an affiliate of magazine publisher Ziff-Davis,
debuted with fewer than 1 million subscribers. The network is now in negotiations with a
number of MSOs, Wangberg said, adding that he expects ZDTV to be in front of about 6
million homes by the end of the second quarter.
ZDTV is not shelling out upfront-cash launch fees, although
it is paying modest "marketing support," Wangberg said. The network is charging
license fees, and it has a rate card, he added.
ZDTV hosted an elaborate launch party, attended by various
city officials, last week in San Francisco.
The 24-hour network has six hours of original programming
per day, which it repeats to fill its schedule.