Comcast Expands HD, International Offerings in Sacramento

Comcast announced a dramatic expansion of its program offerings in the Sacramento market, part of its California Region system, after upgrading a number of customers from analog to digital service earlier this year.

By late summer, the cable giant will launch 81 new TV networks for customers in 20 communities in the Sacramento area, including 61 high-definition (HD) networks, 14 international premium networks and six standard definition channels. The first wave of channel launches occurred today, and the second wave will take place in August.

Earlier this year, Comcast began offering upgrades to Expanded Basic customers to migrate from analog to digital, and converting channels 31 and above to digital delivery, to reclaim bandwidth for more HD and video-on-demand and faster Internet service. Comcast has completed the digital migration in the San Francisco Bay Area, but is continuing the project in other portions of Central California.

"We've heard from customers that they can't get enough HD and multicultural programming, so we're excited to exponentially increase our offering of those networks and give even more value to our customers as part of our digital upgrade," said Curt Henninger, SVP of Comcast's California Region, in a statement. "These channel launches are about delivering on Comcast's promise to customers that by converting to digital, we could offer more of the products and services they want, right away."

The new programming will be available to residential homes and businesses in the following cities: Sacramento, Antelope, Camino, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Davis, Elk Grove, Elverta, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Galt, Gold River, Manteca, Mather, North Highlands, Orangevale, Rancho Cordova, Rescue, Roseville and Rio Linda. Davis and Roseville were already carrying some of the HD networks.

The new HD networks will include: AMC HD, Animal Planet HD, BET HD, Biography Channel HD, Bravo HD, Cartoon Network HD, CMT HD, CNBC HD, CNN HD, CNN Headline News HD, Comedy Central HD, Disney XD HD, E! HD, Encore HD, ESPN 3D, ESPN News HD, ESPNU HD, Fox News Channel HD, Fuse HD, FX-West HD, G4 HD, Hallmark Channel HD, Hallmark Movie Channel HD, HBO Comedy HD, HBO Latino HD, HBO Zone HD, History Channel HD, HSN HD, IFC HD, ION HD, Lifetime HD, Lifetime Movie Network HD, MGM HD, MLB Network HD, MSNBC HD, MTV HD, NBA League Pass Team HD, NBA TV HD, NFL RedZone HD, NHL Network HD, Nickelodeon HD, Planet Green HD, QVC HD, Spike HD, Starz Comedy HD, Starz Edge HD, Starz Kids and Family HD, Style HD, TCM Turner Classic Movies HD, Tennis Channel HD, Thriller MAX HD, ActionMAX HD, Travel Channel HD, truTV HD, TV One HD, VH1 HD, WE HD, The Weather Channel HD, and two NHL/MLB League Pass HD networks.

The six new standard definition (SD) networks include college sports channel ESPN U, art and culture network Ovation TV, The Africa Channel, Nat Geo Wild, CMT Pure Country, and English-language Latino network Si TV. The 14 new international premium networks include Antenna Satellite (Greek), Band Internacional (Brazilian), C1R (Russian), Deutsche Welle (German), GMA Life (Filipino), MYX, PFC 100% Futebol (Brazilian), RTPi (Portuguese), STAR India GOLD (South Asian), STAR India NEWS (South Asian), STAR ONE (South Asian), TV Globo (Brazilian), tvK (Korean) and VIJAY (South Asian).

In addition to network launches, says Comcast, approximately 100 additional international and HD networks are changing channel numbers in order to standardize channel lineups across the state and group together genres of programming.