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Sundance inks cable deals

Channel now claims availability to 13 million subs

NEW YORK — The Sundance Channel has signed deals with MediaOne, the third-largest cable operator in the U.S., and Jones Intercable, another top 10 operator.

The MediaOne contract, however, is more significant because up to 1.2 million of MediaOne’s 5 million subscribers will soon be able to buy Sundance on a new-product tier with some other cable networks for an additional monthly fee.

Boston will be the key MediaOne market getting access to Sundance, but MediaOne cable systems in other Northeast cities will also pick up the channel.

Jones Intercable’s experiment is much more limited, covering only its cable systems in Alexandria, Va., and Celebration, Fla., according to Phil Laxar, Jones’ senior VP of programming.

With the two pacts on top of earlier deals Sundance has struck with some of the cable systems of Time Warner Cable and Century Communications — plus the major direct-broadcast satellite distributors that carry the network — Sundance says that 13 million subscribers will have the option to buy it. The actual number buying it right now is just under 4 million.