Posted on January 24, 2005

Comcast Cable Channel Targets Asian Viewers

Andrew Wallenstein, Hollywood Reporter, Jan. 21

LOS ANGELES — Cable giant Comcast Corp. will expand its efforts in ethnic-targeted programming with the conversion of a recent channel acquisition into an all-Asian network.

International Channel Networks (ICN), which Comcast acquired from Liberty Media Corp. in July, will yank in-language programming for U.S.-based European and Middle Eastern audiences from its flagship network, International Channel. It will be rebranded and replenished with strictly Asian-themed programming in the second quarter of the year.

The retargeting reflects the increased attention being paid to the Asian-American market, which is 12.5 million strong and heavily concentrated in major urban areas. Although their sum is about one-third the size of the black and Hispanic population, they represent half the spending power — an appealing factor for advertisers.

The sector has attracted other all-Asian channels as well, including WorldAsia and ImaginAsia. Comcast, meanwhile, also has a stake in TVOne, a new channel targeting blacks in the 25-54 demographic.

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