The new channel aimed at black families is available in about 7 million homes and in 16 of the top 25 African-American markets (including New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington). It can be seen by some customers served by Time Warner Cable Inc. and by Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable operator, which is introducing the minority-oriented Aspire as part of an agreement struck with the FCC when Comcast purchased NBC Universal.
The price would shatter the mark for a sports franchise. The deal, revealed about five hours after Major League Baseball owners approved three finalists for an intended auction, is one of several steps toward a sale of the team by the end of April. It is subject to approval in federal bankruptcy court.
Comcast will launch four minority-owned networks on its cable TV systems in the next two years, including channels spearheaded by music mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and NBA great Magic Johnson. The new channels are part of an agreement reached by Comcast with the FCC and Department of Justice when it was allowed to become majority owner of NBCUniversal.