CNN, Sogecable launch 24-hour Spanish channel

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MADRID -- CNN and Sogecable, which owns Spanish satellite channel Canal Satelite Digital, have formed a joint venture to produce a 24-hour Spanish- language news channel called CNN+. This network will be the first CNN- branded local language news channel operated and controlled outside CNN's headquarters in Atlanta.

CNN+ is due to launch in December and will broadcast from Madrid. It will be the first 24-hour news network to be produced in Spain by a private company. CNN+ will be produced by Compania Independiente de Noticias de Television, which is equally owned by Sogecable and CNN.

"This partnership with Sogecable adds an important new dimension to CNN International's regionalization strategy," says Phil Kent, president of Turner Broadcasting System International. "By extending CNN's brand into local markets this and future local language channels will complement the existing pan-regional services of CNN International.

Sogecable is managed by Spanish communications group PRISA, owner of the Spanish newspaper El Pais and radio channel SER. Europe's first pay-TV operator, Canal + France, is one of its shareholders. In Spain, Sogecable owns Canal +, with more than 1.5 million subscribers, and Canal Satelite Digital, with more than 500,000 active subscribers.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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