French Channel Debuts In D.C.

French-language digital cable channel TV5 USA is launching on Comcast's Washington system starting June 2. Comcast already carries the service in a number of big markets, including Boston, San Francisco and Seattle.

The D.C launch will be just in time for a bunch of live programming from the channel commemorating the 60th anniversary of D-Day. on June 5 and 6, the channel will air nine and a half hours of specials airing from Saint-Mère-Eglise Square in Normandy.

On June 5, a message honoring the bravery of the American armed forces will appear on the Reuters jumbo screens in Times Square in New York City, followed by the channel's airing of a large block of that special programming, The Longest Night.

The program, which Will air from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. June 6, is described as a minute-by-minute deconstruction" of D Day, including 3-5 minute "news flashes" every half hour taking viewers from the first allied parachute jump through the end of the invasion. In between, "historians, military specialists and scientists will describe the events and discuss their implications."

TV5 Monde President Serge Adda and TV5 USA COO Patrice Courtaban will be in Washington for the launch. TV5 USA, which is also on Cox, Time Warner and Adelphia systems, is the U.S. feed of TV% Monde, which bills itself as the third largest cable network in the world (behind MTV and CNN) with 147 million subs.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.