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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 08, 2008

Comcast Helps Consumers Transition to Digital Broadcast with Free Cable

By Jessica Kostek, TMCnet Channel Editor

Who doesn’t love free!
Comcast’s (News - Alert) “Get Ready” initiative is now beginning to encourage consumers to take action and choose their digital broadcast transition (DTV) now, before the February 17th  2009 government mandate goes into effect.
Included in the initiative, Comcast is offering low-cost solutions, including free basic cable for 12 months for those who sign up for at least one additional Comcast service.
New customers who choose not to subscribe to additional Comcast services can get basic cable for just $10 a month for a full year. Current customers can add basic cable to additional TVs at no additional monthly fee. Basic cable in most areas has 20-30 channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Univision, and PBS in addition to shopping and local neighborhood public television channels.
Comcast basic cable does not require the purchase of any new equipment for cable-ready TVs, so consumers can continue to use their existing TVs and remote controls. Since no antenna is needed, choosing cable also eliminates the worry about potential reception problems associated with using an antenna following the transition.
“The simple fact is that basic cable is the easiest path through the digital transition and now consumers can get it for free. With one call to 1-800-COMCAST, we can professionally install basic cable service on every cable-ready TV and will deliver more channels with no new boxes, no new remote, no antennas and no reception issues," said Derek Harrar, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Video Services for Comcast. "DTV is a landmark event in the history of television and we're doing everything we can to help."
Through the “Get Ready” initiative, Comcast is helping consumers get through by providing:
  • A dedicated website with an interactive tool that provides a personalized action plan based on specific needs of the consumer.
  • Educational partnerships with local governments, local broadcasters and third-party organizations.
  • A comprehensive educational advertising initiative that has aired almost 6 million TV messages on the digital broadcast transition.
  • Plus, 24/7 access to multi-lingual customer service representatives.
For the estimated 13 million households in the United States that have analog TV sets and use "rabbit ears" to receive programming, there are three ways to get ready for the transition, subscribe to cable or another video service provider, buy a new digital TV, or purchase a government approved TV converter box.
Comcast Corporation is a provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services, with 24.6 million cable customers, 14.4 million high-speed Internet customers, and 5.6 million Comcast Digital Voice customers. Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.

Jessica Kostek is a channel editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Jessica’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek