Cox will inhale Oxygen carriage

Cabler signs distrib deal, to add 900K households

Oxygen Media has signed a long-term agreement with Cox Communications Inc. that will ensure distribution of the femme-oriented cable net to at least 20 million homes within three years, the two companies announced Thursday.

Under the agreement, Cox will initially distribute Oxygen to approximately 900,000 households by the end of March. Cox will provide Oxygen with additional distribution over the next two years, which should speed up the net’s initial timetable for reaching 20 million homes in four years. Cox joins AT&T/MCI, MediaOne, Insight Communications, Charter Communications and RCN Communications in distributing Oxygen.

Long road ahead

But Oxygen — which is not carried by Time Warner Cable or Cablevision Systems, among others — still has a long road ahead in terms of distribution. The cabler, headed by Geraldine Laybourne, launched on Feb. 2 with less than 10 million subscribers. In contrast, women’s net Lifetime is available in more than 75 million homes.

Still, Laybourne is optimistic. “This agreement significantly broadens our reach, allowing us to reach key markets, and ensures that we will more than double our audience over the next few years,” she said.

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