Tech Briefs: Charter to Carry Universal HD

Apr 11, 2005  •  Post A Comment

NBC Universal has inked a distribution deal with Charter to carry its high-definition network Universal HD. The network also has been added to several new systems with existing partners Cox, Mediacom and Cable One, expanding the network’s reach. The network launched USA’s “Monk”

on Universal HD last week.

Outdoor Channel 2 HD Running

Outdoor Channel said its new high-definition network, Outdoor Channel 2 HD, is up and running, and the network is seeking distribution agreements with cable operators. The HD network carries Outdoor Channel content in HD. A marketing campaign is expected to start in July. Service Electric Cablevision has signed on to carry the network on its HD digital tier.

Oxygen Readying VOD Networks

Oxygen plans to roll out two VOD-exclusive networks starting this summer and has deals in place for VOD carriage with Time Warner and Comcast. The networks are Air Karaoke and Oh! Baby. They should be available in 10 million homes by year-end. Air Karaoke will offer karaoke on the TV, drawing from a library of 15,000 songs. Oh! Baby is programmed with content in a fun vein for and about parents.

Starz Ticket Drawing New Base

Starz Entertainment Group has unveiled its first detailed data on usage of the Starz Ticket subscription broadband on-demand service. The research indicates that 76 percent of Starz Ticket subscribers have never been subscribers to Starz or are former customers. That’s a sign the broadband service is not cannibalizing the core channels, said Bob Greene, senior VP of advanced services at Starz. He added that 31 percent of Starz Ticket subscribers have never subscribed to multichannel video, suggesting the broadband service is drawing a new customer base.

Comcast Adds Kids Sprout to VOD

Comcast has added its new kids network, PBS Kids Sprout, to its VOD lineup and has secured distribution with Insight for on-demand and linear carriage. The linear channel will launch in the fall on Comcast and Insight. The VOD offering will consist of 50 hours per month, refreshed every two weeks. The channel is a partnership among Comcast, PBS, Sesame Workshop and HIT Entertainment. Kids content is one of the top five on-demand categories at Comcast. Last year the cabler delivered 567 million VOD views, including 68 million for kids content.

Here! on Comcast On-Demand

Gay network here! said it has been launched on Comcast on-demand and content is available at $3.99 per title.