Net brings 24-hour French p'gramming to N.Y. cable

The armies of French-speaking cable subscribers in New York City will finally get a 24-hour channel of their own, courtesy of TV5 Monde,which bills itself as the third largest global network behind MTV and CNN.

Called TV5 Etats-Unis, the American pay TV version begins its non-exclusive run on Time Warner Cable of New York City this week at a cost of $9.95 a month for digital subscribers and $12.95 a month for analog subscribers.

In a conference call with reporters, Serge Adda, president-CEO of TV5 Monde, said, “New York has a larger Francophone population than any other city in the U.S.” An associate of his had to translate Adda’s remarks into English.

Int’l newscasts

TV5 Etats-Unis will feature newscasts originating in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada, which Adda said “will give American viewers a different perspective on the world.”

Like the French-language theatrical movies that appear on the network, the newscasts will run with English subtitles. The channel will include a variety of program formats ranging from talkshows and gameshows to cooking and magazine programs. There’ll also be plenty of children’s programming and soccer and rugby matches.

In addition to Time Warner in New York, with its 350,000 digital subscribers (out of a total of 1.2 million), TV5 Etats-Unis recently signed carriage deals with Time Warner systems in Los Angeles and Kansas City and with the AT&T system in San Francisco.

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