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TV One Sets Free-VOD Offering

Hoping to increase sampling, upstart African-American-targeted network TV One will launch a free-video-on-demand offering in January.

TV One co-owner Comcast Corp. will present the service beginning Jan. 20 across all of its VOD-enabled systems, network executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing Brad Samuels said. Radio One Inc. owns a majority interest in the service.

Samuels said systems can carry the VOD service if they don’t offer the linear network, but only if the MSO has committed to a “significant” carriage deal. The service is free to operators and subscribers, he added.

TV One will start with five hours of original fare: lifestyle show Living It Up with Patti LaBelle; cooking seriesTurn Up the Heat with G. Garvin; transformation series Makeover Manor; The Gospel of Music with Jeff Majors;and celebrity-interview series TV One on One.

Samuels said 50% of the content will be refreshed each month.

Additionally, the network plans to premiere at least one original-series episode or special on VOD before it is on the linear service.

To that end, the network will bow Tangles and Locks, a special exploring the world of black-hair shows.

For more on TV One’s FOD strategy, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page 18 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.