Cencom signs Cartoon Net

Turner Broadcasting’s new Cartoon Network will be available for the first time in Southern California when Cencom Cable adds it to its programming lineup Dec. 1.

The 24-hour-a-day cable network, which launched Oct. 1 with a scant 2.4 million subscribers, adds 98,000 subs with the addition of the Alhambra-based system.

Cencom general manager Craig Watson said he chose to add the Cartoon Network because it is available in Spanish. Hispanics make up 36% of the population base served by Cencom.

Despite the backing of Turner and an attractive lineup of animated programming, the Cartoon Net has had a tough time convincing cable operators to join up because of hostile biz conditions.

Not only is there a severe shortage of channel capacity, but many operators are reluctant to take on new channels until they get a better grip on the impact of cable reregulation.

In the case of Cencom, the cable company had channel space because it jettisoned SportsChannel L.A. from its lineup a few months ago.

Cartoon Network’s 2.4 million subscribers are scattered around the country, but include Time Warner’s system in New York. The addition of Los Angeles should enhance the network’s ability to sell national advertising time.

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