Sorpresa! Hispanic kids' net to launch


Sorpresa!, a digital-cable network targeted toward Hispanic kids and tweens, will
launch March 15.

It currently has deals with Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications Inc. systems and the National
Cable Television Cooperative comprising 350 systems and 400,000 subscribers in New York,
California, Texas, Florida, Arizona and New Jersey.

The channel was put together by Firestone Communications, comprised of former executives
from Spanish-language broadcasters Univision Communications Inc. and Telemundo Communications Group INc., as well as TV-group
owner Allbritton Communications Co.

Its carriage deals come courtesy of Firestone's purchase of assets out of
bankruptcy of Hispanic Television Network (HTVN), a failed cable network that
launched in 1999.

In addition to the carriage agreements, those assets include uplink and
production facilities.

Firestone is headed by Leonard Firestone, former president and general
manager of ABC start-up WJXX-TV Jacksonville, Fla.