Comcast Adding Korean Nets in L.A.

Comcast Corp.’s system in Los Angeles will be home to a new dedicated Korean-language network next month.

International Channel Networks, which is wholly owned by Comcast, announced that Television Korea 24 has reached an affiliate deal, terms of which were not disclosed, with the MSO for tvK1 and tvK2 for carriage on digital basic.

tvK1 -- a general-entertainment channel featuring dramas, news and variety programs -- will debut in early March, according to John Chi, director of marketing for Television Korea 24.

He noted that the company is preparing tvK2 -- which will target a younger audience through music videos, entertainment news and programming, as well as PC-gaming shows -- for a 2005 debut.

“We would expect it to launch, most definitely, sometime later this year,” Chi said, noting that the affiliate contract doesn’t mandate that the channels would be sequentially positioned. “It’s our hope, though, to have that kind of channel alignment,” he added.

Chi said Los Angeles is home to roughly one-half of the nation’s Korean-American population, and the New York DMA is second, while there are also sizable enclaves in San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Calif., as well as Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

He added that the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the Korean-American population at 1.1 million-1.2 million, while the office of the Korean Consulate General pegged that number at around 2 million.

ICN is handling distribution for tvK24, while ICN and tvK24 are jointly marketing the channels.