Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Comcast Interrupts the People's Business for a Baseball Game

Comcast has decided to break into C-SPAN 2 to bring us, you guessed it, more sports programming. Comcast, which has the only cable franchise in Wilmington, has started to split programming on cable channel 98 between C-SPAN 2 and a channel called MASN2.
Now some might consider it a close call as which is duller: an early season game featuring the Washington Nationals or Senator Norm Coleman discussing columns of budget figures:

Not long ago, I could find Senator Coleman's comments on channel 98, but not tonight. Channel 98 instead features number 47, a pitcher named Matt Chico:
I can name more U.S. senators than I can big league ballplayers; I know I'm rather unusual in that respect.
The point is not whether baseball players are more interesting to more viewers than senators. The point is that Comcast has an obligation to the public that runs deeper than its obligation to baseball fans. Public service is not a market segment, but one of the services Comcast provides in return for its position in a regulatory framework in which it enjoys the only franchise in many, if not most, of the communities it serves.
If you believe, as I do, that Comcast bears a minimal obligation to the public interest, then join with me in urging the company to restore full coverage of C-SPAN 2 by writing one of the following corporate executives:
D'Arcy Rudnay
Vice President of Corporate Communications
Comcast Corporation
1500 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
corporate_communications@comcast.com
(215) 981-8582
or
Sena Fitzmaurice
Senior Director of Corporate Communications & Government Affairs
Comcast Corporation
2001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
sena_fitzmaurice@comcast.com
or
David L. Cohen
Executive Vice President
Comcast Corporation
1500 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
While I don't have a phone or email for Mr. Cohen, I include his name because he served as chief of staff to then mayor Ed Rendell.
By the way, Comcast reported revenues last year of just under $25 billion.

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