TCI preps package of Spanish-lingo nets

ANAHEIM — John Malone’s Tele-Communications Inc. will launch a package of 12 Spanish-language cable networks in spring 1998.

Through TCI’s programming division, Liberty Media Corp., the package, which Liberty’s Intl. Channel plans to market on a digital tier, will include the Spanish version of the Discovery Channel (in which TCI owns a 49% interest); CNN En Espanol; the Box’s Latino-music channel; Fox Sports America (including many soccer matches from abroad); Home Shopping Network in Spanish; and Locomotion, the Spanish channel focusing on animation.

Speaking at a Wednesday news conference during the Western Cable Show here, Robert Bennett, president and CEO of Liberty Media, said another source of programming will be Telemundo, about to be taken over by Liberty and Sony Corp. as part of a deal announced last month.

In development for the tier are two new general-entertainment channels, one action-themed and one comedy-themed, that Liberty plans to create in partnership with Sony.

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