Comcast Cable will expand its rollout of the Africa Channel to seven additional markets representing 2 million subscribers as the MSO continues to add more diverse programming to its channel lineups.
The independently owned network, which provides a broad range of English language programming from Africa, will expand its distribution on Comcast's Xfinity TV lineup in Comcast's Detroit, Chicago and Washington D.C. markets by the end of July, said network officials.
In addition, Africa Channel will launch in Comcast's Northern Santa Barbara County, CA, Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC and South Florida systems by the end of the year.
Overall Africa Channel will add 2 million additional viewers from the Comcast launches, said the network.
"The Africa Channel offers powerful programming that speaks in a special way to African Americans, the African Diaspora and the growing general audience interested in exploring the continent of Africa today," said David Jensen, Comcast 's vice president of content acquisition in a prepared statement. "We're proud of our partnership with The Africa Channel and our continued commitment to delivering our customers the most diverse lineup of programming choices."
Africa Channel executive vice president and general manager Bob Reid added in a statement that the deal "signifies the growing value of a network that showcases everything Africa through programming that is informative, entertaining and inspirational. Comcast's decision not only validates the importance of The Africa Channel and the unique and original content it provides for viewers, but also demonstrates Comcast's ongoing commitment to diversity in programming sources and media ownership."
The Africa Channel deal follows a similar Comcast distribution expansion agreement with Asian-themed network Mnet two months ago, part of its mandate to launch several minority-targeted networks related to its merger deal with NBC Universal.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.