Jones sets digital for subs

Cabler offers digital channels in Georgia, South Carolina

Jones Intercable, a top-10 multi-system cable operator, will offer 30 channels of digital television to its 90,000 cable subscribers in Augusta, Ga., and North Augusta, S.C.

Although a Jones spokesman declined to go into detail about the content of the digital-TV channels, another source says 10 of the channels will focus on pay-per-view movies and events; another 10 will encompass the multiplex channels of HBO, Showtime and Starz; and the final 10 will serve up a mix of basic-cable channels that now get limited circulation.

Augusta subscribers will be able to order the digital boxes, which will come with a still-undetermined monthly fee, during the first quarter of 1999.

Jones will pick up the 30 channels from HITS (Headend in the Sky), the digital service created and distributed by John Malone’s Tele-Communications Inc., the second largest cable operator in the country (behind Time Warner).

The Augusta experiment is the second for Jones, which is providing the HITS service to its subscribers in Tucson, Ariz.