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BUSINESS
January 20, 2016 | $util.encode.html($!item.byline), $util.encode.html($!item.bycredit)
Comcast Corp. has repositioned three low-rated channels - CMT, Spike and Pop - to more expensive cable packages. Consumers have complained about cable-bill costs and say they don't watch many cable channels even though they pay for them. Comcast and Verizon have been trimming channels to offer so-called skinnier bundles. Effective Jan. 14, CMT was available on a sports-entertainment package on the Comcast cable system in the Philadelphia area. Previously, CMT - a country music channel - had been distributed to Comcast customers who subscribed to the digital preferred package.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2016 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
After a slow period last year, TV ad sales for this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are going "extraordinarily well" and could break records, a top NBC Sports official said on Thursday. Comcast Corp.-owned NBCUniversal expects at least $1 billion in revenue and ad sales, which are eclipsing the pace of the London games in 2012, NBC Sports sales chief Seth Winter said in a conference call. NBC needs to get to $1.2 billion to break even, because that's what it agreed to pay for the games when it won the TV rights in 2011.
BUSINESS
January 13, 2016 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
With on-demand streamers Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu capturing large audiences for general-interest entertainment, Comcast-owned NBCUniversal has ripped a page from cable's playbook with the niche comedy channel Seeso.com. NBCUniversal says its model of a specialized online channel with Seeso is like cable networks that cater to sports or music fans. If Seeso works, NBCUniversal expects to launch other pay-per-month streamed genre channels. "The consumer is telling us that this is a no-brainer," Evan Shapiro, NBCUniversal's executive vice president of digital enterprise, said Monday of Seeso, which he said he considered supplementary entertainment to Netflix as a "comedy channel for comedy nerds.
BUSINESS
December 29, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. will spend $10 million in Philadelphia to wire more than 200 recreation centers, health clinics, police stations, and other city buildings with high-speed fiber-optic lines, but also earn $32 million in fees over about 15 years to manage the local network. Verizon Communications Inc. is now the provider of the data services for city agencies and buildings. City officials say that the network was not a sweetheart deal for Philadelphia-based Comcast and that Verizon rejected the idea of building out a new network during its franchise talks with Philadelphia officials in 2009.
BUSINESS
December 28, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
Cesar Conde, the head of Comcast-owned Telemundo network, peppers his conversation with references to popular American cable shows Homeland and Breaking Bad , and says it feels like a new era in Spanish-language TV. There is, Conde said, "a tectonic shift taking place in Hispanic media. " And Philadelphia's Comcast - which acquired the also-ran Telemundo network as part of its $30 billion deal for NBCUniversal in 2011 - is aiming to be a big part of it. The nation's cable giant, with tentacles all over the media landscape, is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to take on the No. 1 Spanish-language network, Univision, by developing faster-paced Americanized dramas, locking up the TV rights to World Cup Soccer into the 2020s, and launching live local newscasts in big TV markets, such as Philadelphia.
BUSINESS
December 24, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. has agreed to pay nearly $26 million to settle a California investigation into improper disposal of hazardous waste and failure to shred discarded customer records. California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said the Philadelphia-based cable giant's "careless and unlawful hazardous waste disposal practices jeopardized the health and environmental well-being of California communities and exposed their customers to the threat of identity theft. " The majority of the hazardous waste was electronic equipment: remote controls, splitters, routers, modems, amplifiers, and power adapters.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
In a surprising shift, adults appear to be choosing wireless smartphones for Internet access over Comcast and other wireline broadband providers, according to a study released Monday. The Pew Research Center report described both a national decline in traditional broadband homes and a growth in smartphone-only households. Nationally, broadband-wired homes fell to 67 percent this year from 70 percent in 2013, the study said. Smartphone-only households rose to 13 percent from 8 percent over the same two years.
NEWS
December 12, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
At its final meeting of the year, Philadelphia City Council passed a pile of small bills and a few big ones Thursday while bidding farewell to three members and hosting an unexpected visit from Mayor Nutter. Addressing a packed chamber, Nutter listed the major accomplishments of the Council class - such as coming up with $400 million more for city schools, and requiring employers to offer paid sick leave - and thanked members for their service over the last eight years. But those years have also been marked by animosity between the mayor and Council.
NEWS
December 12, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. shareholders on Thursday approved a plan to convert nonvoting K shares into regular common stock. All nonvoting K shares will be reclassified on a one-to-one basis as class A common stock after Wall Street trading closes on Friday. Class A shares have one share/one vote rights in Comcast corporate-governance issues. Comcast has said there was no need for the two stock classes. The Roberts family preserved its 33 percent control of the cable and media conglomerate through super-voting class B shares.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp.'s proposed cable-TV franchise renewal could save low-income senior citizens between $15 and $83 a year on their cable-TV bills - if they apply for a new discount - and expand discounted Internet services to low-income residents. The deal also will give the Philadelphia cable giant the legal right to operate over the next 15 years in the city, which produces an estimated $550 million a year in revenue and $200 million in annual profits for the firm, based on city and company financial data.
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