Cosmo TV Ups Canadian Distribution

Hearst's international Cosmopolitan TV network, carrying the brand of one of its flagship publications, has increased its distribution to some 5 million homes in Canada--at least for the time being. Versions of the channel are available in some 20 countries.

Through an agreement with leading Canadian MSO Rogers Cable, the network is available as a free preview to digital customers. As of July, the network was in some 3.6 million homes.

The network is a joint venture with Canadian-based Corus Entertainment. Corus also operates the female-targeted W network in Canada.

CosmoTV targets females 18-to-34 and is billed in Canada as "your backstage pass to men, sex and style," offering content "similar to the magazine." CosmoTV has the exclusive rights to air syndicated "Sex and the City" episodes and also carries "The Bachelor," as well as original programming.

Its sales force offers integrated opportunities with Cosmopolitan's Canadian version. In the U.S., CosmoTV would likely compete with Lifetime, where Hearst owns a 50% stake, though the company has not ruled out launching it here.



A Hearst representative wrote in an email: "Our strategy has been to launch Cosmopolitan TV in international markets, where the Cosmo brand is successful and there is a viable opportunity to create this kind of programming."

CosmoTV was launched in Spain eight years ago. In 2002, a Latin American version debuted in partnership with Liberty Media and is now in some 7 million homes. Cosmopolitan magazine has 58 international editions.

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