The Africa Channel, the new 24/7 independent television network dedicated to delivering quality content and bringing the rich and diverse perspectives of Africa and its people into U.S. homes, has reached an affiliation agreement with Comcast the country's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services.
The agreement provides for carriage opportunities for The Africa Channel on Comcast's cable systems. In addition, the network will initially launch on Comcast's Atlanta system on March 20 on channel 182.
A commercially supported general entertainment network, the channel launched in the U.S. last September on Cox Communications Inc. systems in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The channel is backed and supported by such notables as Ambassador Andrew Young, Weller/Grossman Productions and National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Dikembe Mutombo and Theo Ratliff.
The Africa Channel, while providing a daily window into modern African life, offers a bridge to African entertainment, culture, information, music, lifestyle, travel, news and business. The channel's programming is about the people of Africa, their incredible stories, lives, successes, celebrations and challenges, and about the 53-nation continent itself. Showcasing the African continent is the more than 1,600 hours of original and first run English language programming, including news and information, travel, and lifestyle, music, feature films, soaps, talk, reality and special events that are available to the channel. The channel is programmed to meet the broad and nationally diverse tastes of both African Americans and general American audiences who are interested in learning about the continent and its people.
Said Jacob Arback, President, The Africa Channel, "Since we began meeting with MSOs and local cable systems last year there has been significant support and interest for the channel industry-wide. Our new agreement with Comcast and the upcoming Atlanta system launch is yet another indicator of the value and diversity we bring to our carriage partners' channel line-ups and to the communities in which they operate."
Added David Jensen, Vice President of International Programming for Comcast,
"The Africa Channel provides a unique and compelling lineup that we believe will be welcomed by viewers, and we look forward to working with The Africa Channel to bring this valuable programming to our customers."
Original and First Run Programming
Flagship series include "Carte Blanche Africa," a weekly one-hour investigative journalism program now in its 17th season on M-Net; "Africa Within," a vibrant weekly hour that takes viewers from Cairo to the Cape; the reality series "Big Brother Africa" and "All You Need is Love;" and the soaps "Generations" and "Isidingo." Original series include "Conversations with Felicia," hosted by author, entrepreneur and icon Felicia Mabuza-Suttle; "Africa This Week," a weekend news wrap-up series; and "AfricaMusic!," a VJ-hosted music series that will serve as the launch pad for a new wave of music from across the African continent.
About The Africa Channel:
The premiere of The Africa Channel last September marked a milestone in U.S. television history: for the first time, American audiences were able to experience the daily successes, celebrations and challenges of people living throughout Africa, all via a general entertainment network. The channel launched with more than 1,600 hours of English-language programming, including news and information, travel, and lifestyle, music, soaps, talk, reality, feature films and special events. Long-time TV industry executives James Makawa, Jacob Arback and Richard Hammer founded the network, and its initial partners include Ambassador Andrew Young and his company, Goodworks International, Weller/Grossman Productions, and National Basketball Association stars Dikembe Mutombo and Theo Ratliff. For more information about the channel, please visit www.theafricachannel.com.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.4 million cable customers, 8.5 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.3 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
The Company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, OLN, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.