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Maine-Based TV Network Targets Resorts and Cruise Ships

May 4, 1993

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A Maine-based television network targeted at Caribbean cruise ships and resorts plans to begin broadcasting by June 1, the network’s founder said Tuesday.

Colin A.J. Chisholm III, a former executive with Turner Broadcasting and United Artists Television, said his network will offer entertainment and business news programming that its affiliates - resorts and cruise ships - can pick up by satellite dish and unscramble for their guests.

The network has signed agreements to buy programming from the CNBC business news division of the NBC and from the E 3/8 Entertainment Television division of Time-Warner Inc.

Chisholm, who developed the idea last year, said Caribbean resorts offer few English-language programs that appeal to American tourists.

The Caribbean Network estimates that there are more than 140,000 rooms with television sets in Caribbean resorts and cruise ships.

The network anticipates that affiliate fees will provide 20 percent of its revenues, with the remainder coming from national and Caribbean advertising.

Broadcast industry observers are split about whether The Caribbean Network will draw enough viewers to attract sufficient advertising.

″My gut feeling is that people would watch it,″ said James Balessa, a communications-industry analyst with D.A. Davidson & Co. in Montana. ″People never cut the umbilical cord between work and play.″

But an advertising executive remains skeptical.

″You don’t go down to the Caribbean to watch television,″ said Joel Segal, executive vice president for McCann-Erickson, a division of Interpublic advertising in New York City.

Chisholm said he decided to locate The Caribbean Network in Portland because he is from Maine.

″(Ted) Turner’s from Atlanta. I’m from here,″ Chisholm said. ″You don’t have to be in New York anymore.″

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