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BUSINESS
November 8, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. said Thursday evening that it would credit the accounts of customers who lost TV service during a partial national outage for subscribers using its new X1 set-top boxes. The cable-TV giant apologized for the outage and confirmed that customers encountered delays when attempting to contact its call centers. There are five million X1 set-top boxes installed in homes across the United States, though the company said the technical problems - now several days old - have not affected all of them.
BUSINESS
November 1, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Looking to get ahead of its customer-service problems, Comcast Corp. says it will make returning equipment more convenient for Xfinity subscribers. They now can drop off set-top boxes and modems at United Parcel Service stores for free shipment to Comcast. There are 4,400 UPS stores nationwide. Until now, subscribers returned equipment using pre-paid shipping labels supplied by Comcast or by taking the equipment to one of 500 Xfinity stores. Subscribers face steep fines if they don't return equipment - which they rent from Comcast - when they cancel, change, or upgrade service.
BUSINESS
February 11, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gripping his TV remote, Bob Klewans, 75, wandered into the Xfinity store on South Columbus Boulevard one recent afternoon. Unlike in years past, he was met by a Comcast greeter and chatted up by one of the store's managers. He had a problem with his remote, he said, flourishing it. They talked, and Klewans was told he could get a new one. Klewans, a retiree who seemed happy for the friendly interaction, gushed about his treatment and the remodeled store, one of the busiest in the Philadelphia area.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. will announce Tuesday the launch of cloud-based digital-video recorder services in the Philadelphia area, New Jersey, and northern Delaware. Cloud-based DVR service places more of Xfinity cable onto distant computer servers as compared with residing on set-top boxes inside the home. Comcast says it will introduce the additional cloud-based Xfinity features to other U.S. markets through 2014. The new DVR services come with Comcast's X1 platform, which Comcast has said it will license to other cable companies and which blurs the line between cable TV and the Internet.
BUSINESS
April 7, 2016 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
Growing up in Marietta, Ga., Keesha Boyd watched A Different World - a late 1980s spin-off of The Cosby Show - with her mother on Thursday nights and imagined herself through the black cast of young men and women. She connected with Kim, played by actress Charnele Brown, as a kindred soul. "She was your type-A and studied a lot and was focused on being a premed student," Boyd said. "When you can see something, you can believe it's possible. " Last month, Boyd's vision for giving black viewers a black-centric TV service - about 2,000 hours of curated TV shows and movies with black casts, directors, and themes - launched on Comcast's Xfinity on-demand platform.
BUSINESS
September 10, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
With teenagers and college kids untethered from the traditional TV set, Comcast Corp. officials said on Tuesday that they had nearly quadrupled, to 30, the number of colleges participating in their Xfinity on Campus service. Xfinity on Campus streams entertainment, news, and sports onto smartphones, laptops, and tablets throughout campuses, using WiFi. Among schools participating in the Philadelphia region are Drexel University, Rider University, and the University of Delaware.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2016 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
Responding to years of complaints over customer service and billing practices by cable and satellite-TV companies, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee is poised to release its findings from a year-long probe into the industry, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) announced on Thursday. The subcommittee - which also has investigated human trafficking and a U.S.-funded counternarcotics program in Afghanistan - subpoenaed documents from pay-TV companies and solicited comments on customer experiences.
NEWS
May 24, 2013 | By Peter Mucha, Philly.com
Freebies from Verizon and Comcast could add to the fun of the Memorial Day Weekend. Verizon's offering a slew of free content for four days, and Comcast's Xfinity is giving away access to thousands of wireless hotspots through Independence Day. From Friday till Tuesday, Verizon subscribers can find more than 1,700 movies and 50 entire TV series through the cable service's 900 channel. That includes such recent theatrical films as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Dark Knight Rises, Bridesmaids, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, The Hunger Games, Hugo, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Moonrise Kingdom, Prometheus , and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows . They're available through Cinemax, ePix, HBO and ViewNow.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
KJWP, a new over-the-air TV station licensed in Wilmington with a Me-TV network affiliation, has been added to Comcast Corp.'s Xfinity cable-TV lineup in the Philadelphia area as part of the basic cable package. KJWP is a designated "must-carry" station, which means under Federal Communications Commission rules that pay-TV operators have to distribute it. It is broadcast as of Saturday on VHF channel 2.1. The station first showed up on Comcast on Thursday and will be available on Verizon Communications Inc.'s FiOS TV in mid-March, Robert McAllan, CEO of PMCM TV L.L.C., which owns and operates the station, said Friday.
BUSINESS
November 13, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Blind Comcast Corp. TV executive Tom Wlodkowski says the company's talking TV guide for the visually impaired will go live on the nation's largest cable TV system by Dec. 1. The talking guide, still in its beta phase, can be accessed by Xfinity subscribers on the company's X1 set-top boxes. There are five million X1 set-top boxes in American homes, and Comcast is switching out older boxes for X1s throughout its cable TV franchise areas. Of about 22 million Xfinity TV subscribers, 600,000 to 700,000 could be classified as blind or visually impaired, based on national statistics.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
July 8, 2016 | By Jonathan Takiff, Staff Writer
How big a bet is Comcast placing on smart-home gadgets and monitoring services, on the whole Internet of Things/connected-home revolution? Enough so that Comcast's Xfinity Home division is introducing its own line of smart-home products. And the company recently agreed to purchase the iControl Converge software platform and engineering talent pool. iControl powers the home-security and automation platform for Xfinity Home, as well as IoT services for other cable companies (Cox, Rogers, Time Warner, and Bright House)
BUSINESS
June 11, 2016 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
Responding to years of complaints over customer service and billing practices by cable and satellite-TV companies, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee is poised to release its findings from a year-long probe into the industry, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) announced on Thursday. The subcommittee - which also has investigated human trafficking and a U.S.-funded counternarcotics program in Afghanistan - subpoenaed documents from pay-TV companies and solicited comments on customer experiences.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2016 | By Jonathan Takiff, Staff Writer
Comcast customers annoyed at monthly charges for cable-box rentals may have gotten some good news from an unexpected source Wednesday: Comcast itself. Later this year, Comcast's Xfinity TV programming will be directly tunable on Roku streaming devices (selling for less than $100), as well as Roku software-enabled television sets and 2016 model Samsung Smart TVs, the company said. And that's just the start, suggested Comcast senior vice president Mark Hess. The Xfinity TV Partner Program will "expand the range of retail devices our customers can use to access TV cable service without the need to lease a set-top box," he said.
BUSINESS
April 7, 2016 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
Growing up in Marietta, Ga., Keesha Boyd watched A Different World - a late 1980s spin-off of The Cosby Show - with her mother on Thursday nights and imagined herself through the black cast of young men and women. She connected with Kim, played by actress Charnele Brown, as a kindred soul. "She was your type-A and studied a lot and was focused on being a premed student," Boyd said. "When you can see something, you can believe it's possible. " Last month, Boyd's vision for giving black viewers a black-centric TV service - about 2,000 hours of curated TV shows and movies with black casts, directors, and themes - launched on Comcast's Xfinity on-demand platform.
BUSINESS
January 25, 2016 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
In recent years, Comcast Corp.'s product developers in Philadelphia, Denver, and Silicon Valley have gone app wild. The company has released eight Xfinity apps for Comcast customers to pay their bills, change TV channels, watch on-demand movies, check email, and perform other useful tasks with smartphones. Millions of Comcast customers have downloaded them. But why are there so many? And, very important, are they fun to use? These are some of the existential questions that Comcast's new head of products, the former Xbox video gamer Chris Satchell, is asking in his first big project at the cable giant.
BUSINESS
November 22, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Monthly bills for Comcast Corp. Xfinity customers in the Philadelphia area and South Jersey will go up about 4 percent on Jan. 1, with higher prices for cable TV and Internet services plus elevated fees. The Philadelphia-based company began informing customers of the changes online on Friday and in mailings with bills this month. Comcast isn't raising prices across the board, but is boosting them at varying levels on different cable packages or Internet services, according to the new rate card.
BUSINESS
November 12, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. said 590,000 of its Xfinity subscriber email user names and online passwords were available for sale illegally on the Internet last week, but only about 200,000 subscriber accounts were active and could be potentially compromised. Comcast, the Philadelphia-based cable TV giant, has been forcing the 200,000 subscribers nationwide to reset their passwords, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday, adding that she did not know how many customers had done so. When asked whether Comcast had heard from any of these customers, claiming that someone been using their user names or passwords improperly, the spokeswoman said no. The subscriber accounts in question represent a fraction of the company's customers.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
NBCUniversal's revenue surged 20 percent on the box-office take of billion-dollar blockbusters Minions and Jurassic World , boosting third-quarter earnings for its parent company, Comcast Corp. The cable/entertainment/Internet giant said its third-quarter revenue jumped to $18.7 billion from $16.8 billion a year ago. Net income, minus onetime gains or charges, climbed to $2 billion from $1.9 billion. Adjusted per share earnings were 80 cents, compared with 73 cents a share a year ago. "We see two parts of the company working together, driving these results," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts.
SPORTS
October 1, 2015 | BY BILL FLEISCHMAN, For the Daily News fleiscb@phillynews.com
POCONO RACEWAY has confirmed it will host a NASCAR Xfinity series race next year. The Daily News, citing Motorsport.com, reported last Thursday that Pocono was expected to add an Xfinity race next year. The Xfinity race will be part of a busy June 3-5 weekend schedule at Pocono: Xfinity and ARCA series races are scheduled for Saturday, June 4, with the Sprint Cup race Sunday. The July 31 Cup race will be preceded by Camping World Truck Series and ARCA races on Saturday, July 30. Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono's president and CEO, yesterday described the Xfinity race as "a great natural fit," since Xfinity is owned by the Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp.
BUSINESS
September 10, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
With teenagers and college kids untethered from the traditional TV set, Comcast Corp. officials said on Tuesday that they had nearly quadrupled, to 30, the number of colleges participating in their Xfinity on Campus service. Xfinity on Campus streams entertainment, news, and sports onto smartphones, laptops, and tablets throughout campuses, using WiFi. Among schools participating in the Philadelphia region are Drexel University, Rider University, and the University of Delaware.
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