12/22/2005

Comcast offers “family-friendly” cable package

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 5:05 pm

No. 1 U.S. cable operator Comcast Corp. on Thursday said it would offer a package of “family-friendly” channels amid mounting pressure from regulators to help parents weed out racy shows.

The package will include 35 to 40 channels, most of them comprising the basic cable tier of national and local broadcast channels. Another 16 channels include Disney and Nickelodeon, National Geographic, the Food Network, CNN Headline News and the Weather Channel.

Analysts said the move could appease regulator demands, but could not estimate potential demand for the package.

“It’s very unclear whether consumers are going to be interested,” said independent analyst Richard Greenfield. “It’s still a very limited basket of channels.”

Comcast’s “Family” tier will be available in early 2006 at an average monthly fee of $31.20, which includes the basic cable channels, the “family” channels and the cable box.

Comcast executives said earlier this month they were considering such a move amid indecency concerns raised by lawmakers and media regulators.

Last week, No. 2 operator Time Warner Cable was the first to unveil a “family-oriented” package of television channels at about $33 per month. The company is owned by Time Warner Inc..

Another four cable operators are expected to unveil similar packages in the near term, according to industry officials.

Source: Reuters

 

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