Comcast to Launch Two Kids-Targeted Hispanic Channels

Comcast Corp Tuesday said it will add to its lineup two kids-targeted, Hispanic focused channels in January as part of its NBCUniversal merger requirement to launch eight minority-owned networks by 2019.

The two networks, Kids Central and Primo TV, will debut in January 2017, bringing to six the number of primarily minority owned and operated networks Comcast committed to launch by 2019 as part of its merger with NBCUniversal in 2011. The other four include African-American owned Aspire Tv (launched in 2012) and Revolt Tv (2012), and Hispanic-owned and targeted networks El Rey (2013) and BabyFirst Americas (2012).

Comcast senior vice president and general manager of Multicultural Services Javier Garcia told Multichannel News that the company did not set out to launch two English language, kids-targeted channels, but Kids Central and Primo Tv turned out to be the best of several dozen network proposals submitted for consideration. He added the two channels – Kids Central, which will target bilingual Hispanic kids 3 to 7, and Primo Tv. which will focus on Hispanic tweens and teens aged 6 to 16 – complement BabyFirst Americas’ toddler-targeted channel in providing a full complement of kids-targeted content targeted to young Hispanic viewers.

“We saw a lot of white space in [Hispanic-targeted kids content],” he said. “The criteria was to look at the ownership and managerial structure of the services and to make sure it was run by independent networks owned by Hispanic Americans. We also looked at potential for distribution or carriage beyond Comcast – all those things led to these networks."

Condista Networks-owned Kids Central will offer English-language, family-oriented programming targeted to Hispanic viewers ages 3 to 7. The network will also feature both English and Spanish-language video on demand content, according to network officials.

Primo Tv, predominantly owned by V-Me Media Inc., will offer scripted and non-fiction animated and live action content that will both entertain and educate viewers aged 6 to 16, according to Victor Cerda, senior vice president at V-Me Media. The network will also offer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Awareness targeted to U.S. Hispanic audiences.

Garcia would not say how many subscribers Comcast would provide both Primo Tv and Kids Central at launch, but he said expects that both networks will gain carriage from other distributors once launched.

After the launch of Kids Central and Primo Tv, Comcast will turn its focus on launching African-American targeted networks, according to Garcia, although he would provide specifics.

R. Thomas Umstead

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.