African cabler grows in U.S.

Channel to preem on Sept. 14

The Africa Channel, a nascent cable network showcasing Africa-centric and -originated programming, has added Detroit to its lineup of markets and will premiere there Sept. 14 on Comcast Digital Channel 194.

Channel recently launched in several other key cities (Washington, D.C., Atlanta and New Orleans among them) with 1,600 hours of original and firstrun English-language content, ranging from news, music, movies, reality and talk to soaps and travel docs — many of them among the top-rated and longest-running series in Africa. Virtually none of these programs has been seen in the U.S. until now.

Among the key shows are “Africa Journal,” a weekly series that aggregates the top stories, interviews and news from across the African continent and is put together by a Reuters team of producers and journalists in Nairobi, and “Africa Report,” which focuses on business opportunities on the continent.

The channel is funded by private investors including former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young (through his Goodworks Intl.), NBA players Dikembe Mutombo and Theo Ratliff and TV producer Weller-Grossman. No figure was available for what the backers have spent to launch the channel.

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