Comcast and the Big Ten Network

21Apr08

A letter I wrote to the Collegian, which wasn’t published. Comcast was running ads in support of their refusal to nationally add the Big Ten Network to their basic lineup. While I do feel that the BTN’s demand is somewhat unreasonable, Comcast is extremely hypocritical in their position.

Comcast is lying to its customers. Their commercial states that “the Big Ten Network wants to force every cable customer to pay for their channel, even if they don’t want it. We think that’s wrong.” Comcast opposes “a la carte” channel selection which would allow you, the subscriber, to choose and pay only for those channels that you want to receive. For years, Comcast has been fighting the FCC and lobbying in Washington against proposals that would force cable companies to provide this choice to their subscribers.

It is within Comcast’s administrative power to offer the choice right now, and digital cable technology already supports it. If Comcast truly thinks it’s wrong to force a cable customer to pay for channels they don’t want (as stated in the ad), they would offer a la carte. This commercial is a blatant lie, and one its customers should call them on.

Also, a number of channels that appeal to a narrow group of people are already “forced” upon customers: EWTN (Catholic Network) and The Golf Channel, to name only a couple. What makes the BTN different from these other limited interest networks?

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One Response to “Comcast and the Big Ten Network”


  1. 1 The Collegian and the paranormal « do not read this blog

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