Smithsonian Gets RCN Deal

RCN Corp. Tuesday agreed to distribute the Smithsonian Channel high-definition channel as part of an agreement between the cable overbuilder and the service.

With the addition of RCN, the Smithsonian Channel – co-owned by Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute --now reaches 22.5 million multi-platform households. The service reached distribution deals with Charter Communications and Verizon's FiOS TV last month.

“The demand today for more content in HD continues to grow and we’re very excited for our customers to experience the great programming that Smithsonian Channel will be airing,” said RCN president and CEO Peter Aquino in a statement.  “As the broadband, fiber optic cable television competitor in the Smithsonian Institution’s home town, we’re pleased to broaden the reach of its programming.”

Tom Hayden, executive vice president and general manager of Smithsonian Channel, said the RCN deal provides “great momentum for us and we look forward to more announcements in the future.”

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.