Debut date of all-comedy cable channel is undecided

Hold that laugh. Subscribers to Baltimore City's United Artists Cable system still have to wait for the nation's all-comedy channel, called Comedy Central.

The network announced Friday that Comedy Central would debut today in Baltimore, as well as on United Artists systems in Annapolis and on the Eastern Shore. The news was reported in some editions of the Accent section yesterday.


However, officials at United Artists Cable of Baltimore said subsequently that no date has yet been set for starting the service here.

"To this point it is my understanding that we will air it by the end of the year," said program manager Joyce Rutledge.


The comedy service was slated to begin as scheduled, however, on the Anne Arundel and Eastern Shore systems.

Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox said the new Maryland outlets were among many across the country resulting from the signing of an agreement between Comedy Central and Telecommunications Inc., with which United Artist cable operations are affiliated.

He said the network didn't know the Baltimore system was not planning to begin the service today and said no reason had been offered for the decision. However, he said network officials would seek a premiere date for the city's 100,000 cable subscribers as soon as possible.

At Baltimore United Artist Cable, Rutledge said the new affiliation agreement calls for the service to begin by the end of the year. But she noted not all UA systems were adding Comedy Central today.

Comedy Central was formed earlier this year from the merger of HBO's Comedy Channel and MTV's HA! network. Neither of those services had been seen in this area.