NBCU Nets Dial Up In New York City

NBC Universal networks will receive upgraded channel positions in four New York City boroughs when Time Warner Cable of New York alters its lineup next month.

As part of the changes that will go into effect on Oct. 15, five NBCU services will occupy channels 14 through 18 on Time Warner Cable systems serving upper and lower Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and the western part of Brooklyn. Under the new lineup, MSNBC will reside at 14, moving from channel 43; CNBC will remain at 15; USA moves to 16 from 40; Sci Fi jumps to 17 from 44; and Bravo will be found at 18, instead of 38, according to Time Warner Cable of New York director, public relations Suzanne Giuliani.

Other changes will see Fox Business Network, slated to launch Oct. 15 in MSNBC’s current slot of 43, while the News Corp. start-up’s progenitor, Fox News Channel, will migrate to Sci-Fi’s 44 from 46.

Sources familiar with the moves indicate that NBCU paid up to “several million dollars” for the enhanced channel positioning and to ensure separation on the dial for Fox Business Network from CNBC.

NBCU officials declined to comment. Time Warner Cable’s Giuliani didn’t specify a reason for the changes, saying only the operator moves channels for a variety of reasons that include “convenience, viewership and groupings.”

As for gaining expanded basic positioning in Manhattan, FBN and FNC senior vice president of affiliate relations Tim Carry said in a statement: “We’re thrilled with both channel locations and look forward to FBN being available in the world’s financial capital on Time Warner Cable’s dynamic lineup.”

Elsewhere, Giuliani said FBN will be positioned at channel 28 on Time Warner Cable’s system in Mount Vernon, N.Y.; at channel 121 on its Hudson Valley systems in upstate New York; and at channel 37 in its New Jersey unit.

Back in the boroughs, Time Warner Cable’s revamped roster will also result in new positioning for A&E, which will move from 16 to 46, and for sister service The History Channel, which is heading to 40, instead of its current bearing of channel 16.

ABC Family, now found at channel 14, will move to Bravo’s current spot at 38. Discovery Channel, currently in Bravo’s future home at channel 18, will be relocated to 66, said Time Warner Cable officials.