LOS ANGELES -- The Times Mirror Cable Television Co. has announced a new premium movie service to be called 'Spotlight,' which will go into service May 1 and be fed by satellite to most of its 51 systems as a pay TV service.
It is expected, according to industry sources, to cut most deeply into Home Box Office, (HBO) which now serves a large share of Times Mirror's 260,000 pay TV subscribers.
The announcement Thursday said that in each Times Mirror cable system, 'we will be replacing the dominant pay TV service with Spotlight.'
The Times Mirror Satellite Programming Co., is a unit of Times Mirror Cable Television, which in turn is owned by Times Mirror Co., the parent of the Los Angeles Times.
A spokeswoman for HBO said she did not know which HBO subscribers would be affected.
A spokesman for Showtime Entertainment, the nation's second largest pay TV service, said the entry of Times Mirror into the TV programming business will have a short-term impact on Showtime's revenues.
A spokeswoman for Spotlight, Donna Lawrence, said that Times Mirror is committed to the idea of multiple pay TV services.
With Spotlight, Times Mirror will be the fifth largest cable system operator to enter the field. Time Inc., the parent company of HBO, is the nation's second largest cable TV operator through its subsidiary, American Television & Communications Corp.
Teleprompter Corp., is the nation's largest.