No waiting until Christmas on Monday. Comcast, you obviously consider yourself too powerful.
Today, your hard-earned rate hikes take effect. Santa says you’ve been such a good company this year, only getting me concerned and wasting my time by forgetting when my Xfinity introductory offer ends.
Does anyone reading this have suggestions for me for when that offer actually does expire? I need the internet (keeping net neutrality, which nobody is counting on Comcast to do), and pretty much the local and basic cable stations, especially news. Nothing special. None of the new programs I’ve read about but never seen. There are a lot of companies’ names that I’ve read about but never understood. (See new information released today, below.)
Seems like I’ll be looking at something very different and unfamiliar, since my building doesn’t do Verizon’s Fios nor satellite.
Comcast, I know costs go up but Philadelphia is your hometown, you have more to lose here than elsewhere and here, you actually own so much of your own programming and channels, including one for local sports fans (now called NBC Sports Philadelphia) and two broadcast, over the public’s airways.
One is WCAU-NBC10 (where I worked, 1998-2000, under General Electric, before the Universal and Comcast buyouts) and there’s WWSI-Telemundo62, the Spanish station really licensed to Atlantic City, whether or not it concentrates on people down the shore. In case you didn’t know, it comes just less than three years after NBC pulled its affiliation from New Jersey’s only major network affiliate, WMGM-40 in Atlantic City. That voice is gone.
SIDEBAR: Looking at NBC10’s website, I noticed the Channel 10 homepage weather featured “StormTracker4” and thought that was weird. NBC also owns its station in the next city up: WNBC-4 in New York. WNBC also brands its homepage weather “StormTracker4” but that makes sense, since it’s Channel 4! So I tried another NBC-owned station that’s not on Channel 4 (anymore): WTVJ-6 in Miami. Their homepage weather is called “First Alert Doppler 6000” which makes sense for Channel 6 and is different from NBC’s two northern stations that are bigger, have different channel numbers, but the same name (at least at this moment). I wonder if this is regular or something simply went wrong.
Don’t forget synergy saves parent company Comcast money, and should be factored into our fees, too. (And kudos to Miami for actually selling their web weather preview!)
ANOTHER SIDEBAR: Newswise today, I noticed NBC10 beat Philadelphia competitor WTXF-Fox 29 (where I worked, 2016-2017) that had two headlines way up above the fold that were known and could’ve been written long ago — seven months and 15 months ago, respectively. Their personnel decisions should be going under the microscope.
First, on May 9, 2017, it reported Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office decided not to charge Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian “with a criminal offense” in the May 2015 crash that killed eight people and injured 200 others.
Then, three days later, on May 12, 2017, it reported,
“Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro expanded on charges a Philadelphia judge approved a day earlier after the family of a woman killed in the crash sought a private criminal complaint” and that specific story, more than seven months old, was for some reason updated today!
Second, a year and a half ago, in June 2016, I had trouble inserting my subway token at the Broad Street Subway’s Spring Garden station. There was no place to insert it. I ended up having to walk up and down steps at three of the four corners of that intersection to finally find a human to take my token and let me down to the train platform. So we knew tokens were being phased out. Besides, how many other cities already did away with them?
SIDEBAR OVER: So Comcast/Xfinity, for now, Merry Christmas, but I don’t know how long my even more costly business with you will last. We’ll have to find out if and when our relationship changes in the future. I can’t wait to see (with my own eyes) what you propose.
P.S. Readers probably figured out I had the Comcast portion of this blog post prepared since shortly after I got my bill (and read it) weeks ago.
Coincidentally, I found several other articles on similar topics with updates and possible solutions, this morning alone!
First, The New York Times‘ “How to cut the cord on cable” which prepares us to use the internet and streaming services to save a ton of money. Our viewing habits are different, so we all should read it.
Second, according to The Seattle Times, a Washington State broadband company
“filed a claim with the FCC saying cable giant Comcast is unfairly trying to force Wave to provide higher-priced sports TV channels to customers who don’t want them.”
Third, the fighting between station owners, and cable/satellite operators, for retransmission consent money that probably cost you from watching something you wanted at some point (with both sides blaming each other) continues.
According to TVAnswerMan,
Satellite provider Dish had been involved in the majority of recent fights. New England Patriots fans almost didn’t see the game against AFC-East rivals, the Miami Dolphins, until the Boston CBS station allowed carriage.
FTV Live‘s Scott Jones put it best:
“The TV station demands more money to carry their single, the cable company says no and the pissing match starts. The two take shots at each other and say that it’s all about you the viewer. Which is utter bullshit! Then after the nasty comments about each other, the two sides come to an agreement, in which they NEVER expose the details and life goes on. But, you know that more money the station is demanding means your monthly TV bill is going up.”
Finally, Bloomberg warns,
“Cable TV’s password-sharing crackdown is coming” and “it’s a growing problem that could cost pay-TV companies millions of subscribers — and billions of dollars in revenue.”The article reports TV Everywhere, started in 2009, “was an attempt to appeal to young consumers by letting them access cable or satellite shows on any device.”
Of course, that “any device” part led to piracy and password-swapping since companies like Charter/Spectrum only force paying customers to enter their passwords for each device once a year. Somehow, tens of thousands watched just one subscriber’s streams simultaneously for free!
Anyway, after all that, got a solution for my Comcast concern? I’d love to hear in a comment! (Got a web link?) And thanks!