NBC Solves Mystery, Unveils Launch Plan For Sleuth Channel

NBC Universal Cable's new crime and mystery channel, Sleuth, will expand distribution to 22 million homes this summer.

NBCU has reached agreements with satellite operators DirecTV and Dish that will boost the channel's availability from the 5 million Time Warner Cable homes where it launched Jan. 1.

So far, Sleuth has positioned itself as sort of a TV Land for the crime/mystery genre, with a schedule full of classic NBC hits such as "Knight Rider" and "The A-Team." "Miami Vice," a show which could receive increased interest when the eponymous movie comes out later this year, anchors prime-time nightly at 8. The network offers no original programming so far.

Sleuth is operated as part of the NBC Universal Cable unit, and sold along with channels such as Bravo and USA.

The swiftest way to boost its popularity would be for NBCU to make it an outlet for part of its "Law & Order" library--but that franchise is a staple on multiple cable channels, and such a move might hurt an already lucrative revenue stream.



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