Comcast getting ready for new indy networks


In the wake of the joint venture between Comcast and NBCUniversal, the cable giant is getting ready to issue an RFP for new independent programming channels. Eight of ten new entrants to the lineup are expected to be devoted to African-American and Hispanic programming.

“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.”

The additions are not coming all at once, and to start out, the network is looking to add three channels during 2012 and early 2013.

In a statement, Comcast noted, “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.”

Comcast also offered guidelines it is observing as it sets the full lineup of additions. “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 is upping its commitment to Asian Americans by increasing its carriage of Mnet, an existing English-language service targeted at that demographic.