Comcast Corporation today announced that it is taking the first steps to launch ten new independent channels over the next eight years, including eight that are Hispanic and African American owned or operated.
“Comcast is committed to providing opportunities for diverse businesses to expand and grow,” said David Jensen, Vice President of Content Acquisition for Comcast. “We look forward to considering a number of fresh and viable programming proposals from Hispanic and African American programmers to create new channels that will complement the robust lineup of programming choices we already offer our customers.”
Of the ten new channels scheduled to be added, Comcast is now accepting proposals for the first three. One of the channels, which Comcast intends to launch by July 28, 2012, will be American Latino operated and programmed in English. The other two will be majority African American owned and will launch by January 28, 2013. Ultimately, each of the ten networks will be added on select Comcast systems as part of the D1 digital tier.
The commitment to launch ten new independently owned and operated networks over the next eight years is one of a series of public interest commitments made by Comcast in connection with the NBCUniversal transaction completed earlier this year. Of the ten channels, four will be majority African American owned, two will be majority Hispanic owned and two will be operated by American Latino programmers. These criteria were established based on several agreements Comcast entered into with leading diversity organizations.
In addition, Comcast recently announced it was expanding carriage of Mnet, the only 24/7 English-language nationwide television network in the U.S. targeting Asian Americans and fans of Asian pop culture, satisfying a commitment in its agreement with leaders of the Asian American community.