Television: Newsmakers Jan 11, 2008




Detroit Free Press:

Michigan lawmakers are crafting a bill to reverse Comcast's plan to exile public access programming from the low-numbered stations to digital-only channels positioned in the 900s. State Reps. Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights, and Steve Bieda, D-Warren, are drafting the bill, which is to go before the Legislature next week. Although it won't be introduced until after the cable provider's Tuesday switch, if approved, the bill would require Comcast to revert to the original format. In order to pass, it must get 56 House and 20 Senate votes. Meanwhile, Bieda brought forth a nonbinding resolution Wednesday to the House, vocalizing his opposition to Comcast's plan. The Macomb County politicians joined the fight against Comcast after hearing complaints from local leaders and constituents in their districts. They say Comcast's requirement that 1.3 million Michigan subscribers go digital is a major inconvenience and is possibly violating a federal law that ensures government channels are in basic cable packages... Comcast channel changes opposed (Fri, 1/11)

The city of Dearborn and Meridian Township near Lansing sued Comcast cable in federal court in Detroit today to block a plan that would move local access channels up the dial on Tuesday and require non-digital basic subscribers to get digital converter boxes to continue receiving those channels. “They are taking away a service that should be provided to subscribers,” said Deborah Guthrie, Meridian Township cable coordinator, after the suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit. She said Comcast’s unilateral decision would cost basic subscribers $4 to $5 per month per television for access boxes — over and above the free box Comcast is offering subscribers with analogue televisions for one year... Lawsuit filed to block Comcast channel moves (Fri, 1/11)

Grand Rapids Press:

Jon Koeze, administrator of the city's cable television access Channel 26, does not score big ratings on most evenings. Now he is afraid a switch by Comcast cable will ruin one of his biggest nights of the year Tuesday. City cable subscribers who look for city results from Tuesday's presidential primary election will not find them on Channel 26. That is because Comcast is moving its public, educational and government channels to Channel 915 that same day. Unless viewers have a converter box from Comcast or own the latest digital-compatible television, they will not be able to tune into Channel 915, Koeze said... Comcast switch may limit GR's election coverage (Fri, 1/11)

Lansing State Journal:

Communities across mid-Michigan are running into the fallout of a 2006 state law altering oversight of cable television. The consensus view appears to be one of unhappiness at changes in which community content will appear. The most viable solution: Look more to the technology of the Internet to deliver community and school news. Causing the angst is cable giant Comcast's decision to move public access channels from their traditional home in the basic cable tier (think low-numbered channels) to new slots in the 900-range. Unfortunately, the way to access the 900-range is to have Comcast's digital (pricier) service, or acquire a special converter box to capture the public channels... Public TV: Comcast shift on public access enhances importance of Web (Fri, 1/11)

Muskegon Chronicle:

Viewers of Muskegon City Commission action televised over government access channel 97 will have to obtain a digital converter box if they want to keep watching after Tuesday. Comcast Cable Communications is moving the local government programming to channel 915, despite a city commission resolution requesting the existing channel locations be maintained. Public education programming, including that of Muskegon Community College, will move to Comcast channel 902, local religious access to channel 924 and Michigan Government Television to 187. To receive any of those channels, viewers will need a converter box if they don't already have digital-ready television sets or subscribe to Comcast's digital cable service... Public channel TV viewers will need to convert (Thu, 1/10)







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on January 11, 2008 8:44 AM.

Northern Michigan: Newsmakers Jan 10, 2008 was the previous entry in this blog.

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Jan 11, 2008 is the next entry in this blog.

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