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ABC1 expands on to UK cable

Disney’s UK daytime entertainment channel, ABC1 will lift its penetration by over one million digital homes from this Friday, after inking a cable carriage deal.

The channel, which airs from 6.00-18.00 daily, has added Telewest Broadband to its short list of platforms, which is currently limited to just digital terrestrial player Freeview. The DTT platform reaches into over 4m homes.

The channel, which launched late September as Disney first international expansion of its ABC brand, joins Telewest’s 35-channel starter pack.

Simon Bailey, deputy managing director of Disney Television for UK and Ireland, said: “ABC1 has performed well ahead of even our most stretching goals. This is the beginning of the next phase of ABC1’s evolution and continues Disney Television UK’s good relationship with Telewest Broadband.”

Last month, John Hardie, senior vp and md of Walt Disney Branded Television EMEA, told C21 that the daytime channel’s move into primetime was unlikely to happen before October next year. Satellite carriage is also being negotiated.

Airing US imports like Home Improvement, 8 Simple Rules…, Sports Night, Once & Again and General Hospital, the channel has acquired the hit show Mad About You, which will be premiered in January.

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