Thursday, December 07, 2006

France 24 to channel overseas sports interests

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Dec 7, 2006 3:00 AM (3 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 6 of 12,965 articles

WASHINGTON - Every week I receive at least a dozen e-mails from sports fans living in Washington who want a cricket, rugby or soccer score from overseas. Often I point them to Web sites.

I also used to send them to Northern Virginia-based cable channels 53 and 56 of the local MHz Networks. The channels had everything from soccer to Aussie Rules Football. They are free, over-the-air channels seen on cable all over the area.

Well I am happy to reveal that starting Friday, MHz is launching France 24, a new — and free — 24-hour European version of CNN.

I know we often get lost in the local sports news. But Washington is an international city with residents from all over the globe. France 24 will broadcast in English and offer plenty of programming to sports fans with overseas interests.

France 24’s U.S. debut will coincide with today’s worldwide channel launch. At 2:30 p.m., MHz Networks, France 24’s U.S. partner, will begin transmission of the channel in D.C. on MHz3 (Comcast Channel 186 as well as free digital broadcast 30-3). For those who want to see the network for free, you can pick up a digital antenna at any Radio Shack or your favorite electronics store.

France 24 promises to provide a fresh perspective on world events, driven by debate and respect for the diversity of cultures.

“Providing a different angle and contrasting viewpoints on world news, France 24 adds another strong voice to the world stage and is a natural fit to MHz’s portfolio,” said Frederick Thomas, General Manager and Executive Vice President of MHz Networks. “MHz has been committed to bringing the broadest range of world opinion to American audiences for over a decade. Positioning itself between CNN and the Arab media, France 24 delivers an interesting spectrum of opinions throughout the program.”

This is going to be an interesting venture and we are lucky the locally-based MHz Networks are once again ahead of the curve.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.


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