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Comcast increasing HD channels?  

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Anyone seen this, or I have been missing the boat recently?
It's on CBS Marketwatch, but I couldn't paste the link as I think it has something to do with my subscriber id (which, by the way, is free)

Here's the blurb, but no further details:
...As Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen pointed out in an investment report on Monday, Comcast plans a "major expansion" in its New England hub in digital television products. It's taking video-on-demand content from 1,500 hours to 20,000 hours and increasing high definition TV channels from 12 to 27.
post #2 of 50
CBS Marketwatch Story
post #3 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by blitzen102
CBS Marketwatch Story
Your link is broken
post #4 of 50
The whole story:

"Philadelphia-based cable giant Comcast (CMCSA: news, chart, profile), which a few months ago announced plans to try to acquire Walt Disney (DIS: news, chart, profile) in a hostile initiative, continues to expand its operation.

As Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen pointed out in an investment report on Monday, Comcast plans a "major expansion" in its New England hub in digital television products. It's taking video-on-demand content from 1,500 hours to 20,000 hours and increasing high definition TV channels from 12 to 27.

Comcast dropped 4 cents to $29.05 in Monday trading.

Media stocks traded in a narrow range. Animation-movie maker Pixar added 69 cents to $67.54.

The new TV ratings system has been criticized by many media companies.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NWS: news, chart, profile) "appears to have the most to lose from the new system because the company owns several stations that carry the UPN network, which is popular with black viewers," the Wall Street Journal said. In a test of the new system in February, ratings for some of UPN's programs, including, "One on One" and "The Parkers," dropped by up to 62 percent.

The ratings help set the prices for local TV advertising rates. Reduced levels of viewers can translate into lower ad revenue.

Nielsen Media Research, a unit of VNU NV that collects TV ratings results, is taking the place of paper diaries filled out by a sampling of the audience with the so-called people meters that track viewing as viewers press buttons on a remote control network.

The new arrangement would permit Nielsen to designate the age, race and sex of the audience on a nightly basis. Up to now, local demographics have been identified just four times a year.

News Corp. gained 6 cents to $36.74."

Yes - posting the link doesn't work. The full text is above. If you really want to see the story go to www.cbsmarketwatch.com and do a keyword search for "Comcast".
post #5 of 50
I hope it's true and I hope it's more then New England. I wonder what the time table on that is.
post #6 of 50
They will likely add the West Coast feeds of the Premium channels, a few HD InDemand PPV channels, and of course some new HD channels such as TNT and the like.
post #7 of 50
I wonder if some of the new HD channels include HDNet and possibly Fox Sports New England, which is supposed to be broadcasting home games in HD.
post #8 of 50
I'm pretty sure that if any RSN is available in HD, that its a safe bet that Comcast will add them. This instantly gives them a leg up on DBS since it will be a long time before DBS offers any RSN HD channels.
post #9 of 50
27 HD channels would be great! Of course, in Sacramento, even 12 channels would be a 50% increase :rolleyes:
post #10 of 50
Well, first this is coming from a Merrill Lynch analyst, not Comcast.

So, you have to ask yourself, what is her agenda? Is she recommending Comcast stock as a "buy"?

Not saying that she is lying, but she could be spinning somebody's WAG into a "fact."

What was her source for the information and has she accurately communicated what was told to her?

And, what is the timeline? 27 HD channels would be awesome, but are we talking by the end of the summer, by the end of the year or is this some long range plan which would be implemented by the year 2007?

And why New England only? Is it going to be an avant garde area for Comcast like Green Bay, WI is for Time Warner? Does New England have a lot of extra bandwidth lying around? Are all the New England systems 860 Mhz or greater? If not, how long would it take to upgrade the systems to 860 Mhz or more?

It sounds great, but I would be skeptical until further information is released by a better qualified source.

Something appears to be going on, as there has to be some kind of basis for her report, but it is probably a long range plan, not anything New England Comcast subscribers will see in the near future.

P.S. Does anyone have access to the investment report which is referenced by the Marketwatch article? If so, can you post the relevant excerpts that deal with Comcast?
post #11 of 50
The New England area is Comcast's largest market, so it would be a good testing ground for a rollout. Most of New England area's hardware is up to date now.

Also, in Ma they're allowed cable competition in most towns, so it could be the reason they're so eager to "one up" their competitiors. They've been rather quickly buying up their competition as well.

That said, I can't even think of 12 channels they would add. They could be counting the eventual roll-out of forthcoming channels like Turner-HD and the locals, which we would get anyways.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
That said, I can't even think of 12 channels they would add.
Discovery
Wealth
TNT
Bravo
Fox Sports
HD On Demand

Multiple SHO, HBO, etc. HD channels?

Possible NHL Center Ice HD for next year (please oh please)?

................
post #13 of 50
You ask why New England??? Because New England rules!!! We have the best sports teams, now the best HDTV.
post #14 of 50
Wealth?

I'm thinking of-

Discovery
TMC
Bravo
Turner
Encore
HD on Demand (free as well as ppv. No way am I paying $8 a movie)
UPN
WB
Fox (already have, I guess HD programming)

Maybe they came to an agreement for HDNet?

Anything else?
post #15 of 50
I heard the same info a few weeks ago.
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by kippjones
I heard the same info a few weeks ago.
About New England?

Or Chicago?

Or all Comcast areas?

Any details?

Timeline?
post #17 of 50
Comcast in Chicago. Looking for mid-summer addition.
post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by kippjones
Comcast in Chicago. Looking for mid-summer addition.
That is consistent with what I've heard about the Sacramento market as well. Of course, I was also told that they would add a few more channels last quarter than they actually did, too. I had talked wtih a well placed source within Comcast several months ago, and was told second quarter 2004 would be a good quarter for HD...
post #19 of 50
But 27 HD channels? They are always saying a couple more here and there, but 27? By the end of June (end of second quarter)?
post #20 of 50
I e-mailed Comcast this afternoon asking them about this. I was very surprised just now when I checked my home email and they had already responded.

Here is their entire response:

Dear Gus Morel:

Thank you for your channel request, we are working to provide as many
high definition channel broadcasters as possible. Here are some of the
factors involved with expanding our high definition lineup:

-the negotiation and contract process required to obtain the rights to
carry a specific high definition broadcast, such as Discovery-HD.

-the increased bandwidth resources that are required

-the relatively low subscribership (currently only a small minority of
customers have high definition compatible television sets)

We appreciate your channel requests, we hope to expand our high
definition channel lineup as fast as we can. Unfortunately we are unable to provide specific details regarding the launch of new channels at this time, please keep an eye on your monthly billing statement as the
announcement of any channel additions will appear on those statements.

You can also sign up for our HDTV newsletter at the following URL:

www.comcast-ne.com/hdtv.html


If there is anything else we can help you with, please contact us.
Thank you for choosing Comcast.

Sincerely,

Craig
Comcast Electronic Customer Care
-------------------------------------------
Please visit our Online Help Desk at:
http://online.comcast.net/connect/

You can also email us anytime at: AskComcast@Comcast.Net

Tel: 1-888-633-4266 - Customer Care 24/7
Tel: 1-866-447-7333 - Internet Support 24/7

Connecticut Only
Tel: 1-888-824-2273 - Customer Care 24/7
Tel: 1-800-288-2085 - Digital Phone Repair 24/7
Tel: 1-800-288-2085 - Digital Phone Billing 8:00AM - 9:00PM EST
Tel: 1-888-262-6300 - Internet Support 24/7


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Gus
post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by SonomaSearcher
But 27 HD channels? They are always saying a couple more here and there, but 27? By the end of June (end of second quarter)?
After their hostile take over of Cablevision:) We Comcast viewers and VOOMers will all be a happy famliy.
post #22 of 50
Quote:
After their hostile take over of Cablevision We Comcast viewers and VOOMers will all be a happy famliy.
Good point. ;)

Cablevision is trying to spin off it's satellite ops into a different company. If they do that, Comcast or someone else will probably swoop in.
post #23 of 50
Have Comcast HD here in the Dallas area. Was talking with a CSR a few days ago and asked the proverbial question about when more HD channels would be added. He did not have any specific information, but did state that the plan was for 20 HD channels by year end in Dallas area.

Lets hope we do not have to wait to the end of year to some some additions....

The Dallas area is particularly frustrating as there are channels "pending" (iNHD1 & 2 and PBS HD) with no where to put them due to bandwidth limitations.

pask
post #24 of 50
We are hearing within the company that InHD 1 & 2 are coming within a month. I will try and pick someones brain tomorrow when I get in.

kcharg
post #25 of 50
Thread Starter 
Interesting. I have read the research report in its entirety. There are no more details regarding HD channels than have already been reported. However, there is a section on a dual tuner HD PVR allegedly being introduced Q404. I don't follow the PVR forum, so I don't know if that is being discussed there. If Comcast comes through with this, I do believe I will give my D* dish and antennas the boot.
--
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by mythical_phenix
Interesting. I have read the research report in its entirety. There are no more details regarding HD channels than have already been reported. However, there is a section on a dual tuner HD PVR allegedly being introduced Q404. I don't follow the PVR forum, so I don't know if that is being discussed there. If Comcast comes through with this, I do believe I will give my D* dish and antennas the boot.
--
The dual tuner, HD PVR with a friendly interface and a high capacity drive, is the Holy Grail for many of us.
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally posted by mythical_phenix
Interesting. I have read the research report in its entirety. There are no more details regarding HD channels than have already been reported. However, there is a section on a dual tuner HD PVR allegedly being introduced Q404. I don't follow the PVR forum, so I don't know if that is being discussed there. If Comcast comes through with this, I do believe I will give my D* dish and antennas the boot.
--
Any chance you can excerpt the portion of the report that deals with Comcast? (I am assuming it was sent via email or is available via the Web.)
post #28 of 50
Thread Starter 
The report is a research report on Comcast, specifically the New England region. I don't want to post it (or parts of it) as I am sure that will violate some disclaimer I agreed to but never read. Anyone can get a copy of this, if they can tolerate some aggravation. Here's one way:
1. www.merrilllynch.com (note the three ells)
2. click the box that says 'Individual Investor'.
3. find the box that will take a stock quote, choose 'Research By Symbol', and enter CMCSA
4. The link with VOD in the title is the one. Clicking that will either ask you to enter your id/password, or create one. Creating one is not too painful, but expect to get solicited...
5. If you created an account, patiently wait for your userid/password to show up, then enter it at the appropriate spot in the ordeal.
6. Read the report.
--
post #29 of 50
Read it. Thanks for the tip, phenix.

Re 27 HD channels : This is based on removing analog channels. No time frame was given. So analog channels will have to disappear before HD channels are added.

Re DVR: It says the single tuner Motorola has already been deployed by Comcast in New England. Is this correct?
post #30 of 50
Not correct. HD-DVR's have not been introduced by Comcast in New England yet.
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