Crown Media Family Networks said Hallmark Drama, the company’s third linear cable network, launched today (Sept. 10) on Comcast's Xfinity X1 platform. Customers who have the Digital Preferred package can say “Hallmark Drama” into the Xfinity Voice Remote to live tune to the network or tune to channel 1460. Crown launched the network in 2017, with the first breakthrough coming on launch on Dish Network. Other distributors of note include DirecTV, Cox Communications and NCTC affiliates, along with virtual pay-TV providers including Fubo, Philo and Sony PlayStation Vue. Charter Communications also includes Hallmark Drama in its TV Essentials offering for broadband-only customers, according to Crown distribution executive Erin McIlvain. She said the Xfinity launch brings the channel up above the 25-million subscriber mark.
Hallmark Drama is soon to launch its first proprietary original shows, including holiday specials Christmas Cookie Matchup (pictured above) and Project Christmas Joy plus new installments in the “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” movie franchise and the sequel to the 2016 original movie JL Family Ranch starring Jon Voight, Teri Polo, James Caan, Bo Derek and Dylan Walsh. Hallmark Drama also features series and movies from Crown Media’s library. Crown's other two linear channels are Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
“With the kick-off of our beloved holiday programming right around the corner and the imminent rollout of brand-new original content on Hallmark Drama, the timing for this launch could not be better,” Erin McIlvain, executive vice president, content strategy and distribution for Crown Media Family Networks, said in a release. “We have built a strong partnership with Comcast over the years and with the addition of Hallmark Drama to Xfinity X1’s suite of Crown Media offerings, Xfinity customers will now have a unique new way to enjoy more of the Hallmark-branded entertainment they know and love.”
In an interview, McIlvain credited Comcast. "They're a good partner and they see the value in our networks and they understand that there's an appetite for Hallmark content," she said. Comcast carries all three linear channels and the Hallmark Movies Now subscription VOD service.
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Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Nexttv.com. Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.