Cable channels bid for higher profile with Net and subs deals.

NEW YORK: Cable channels, used to working as an industry when comparing their ratings with the broadcast networks, spent last week battling to raise their individual profiles.

NEW YORK: Cable channels, used to working as an industry when comparing their ratings with the broadcast networks, spent last week battling to raise their individual profiles.

The History Channel chose the Western Cable Show in Anaheim, California to make 12 separate announcements. The Hearst, ABC and NBC owned channel, is to rebrand its Internet presence by setting up a history search engine or portal to make itself the equivalent of Yahoo for the history world.

The site address is historychannel.com.

The network has recruited a number of historians and acquired databases to make the site required viewing for fans of history. As part of the creation of the web portal the History Channel is embarking on a fresh branding campaign under the slogan 'The Official Network of Every Millennium'.

The campaign will be accompanied by print and TV ads starting in January 1999.

The History Channel also announced a 23% increase in subscriptions since year end 1997. The channel is now available in 53.53 million cable and satellite homes in its fourth year since launch.

The network recorded its highest ever rated month in November with viewership up 41% to 378,000 households, its monthly average.

Gary Morgenstein, vice president public affairs at History Channel and A&E Television, said: 'The Western Cable Show is important to us. Our relationship with the press is one of trust. The story has to stand up.'

Fox Family Channel also announced it has increased the number of subscribers.

The News Corp/Saban-backed children's channel will gain an extra 400,000 homes following a deal with TCI's Washington cable system. The channel is now distributed to 73 million homes. Fox Family has also recruited movie star Adam Sandler to publicize its Christmas schedule.

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