Posts for comcast

Video: John Oliver Hilariously Explains How to Prevent Cable Company F*ckery, Eviscerates Government and Comcast

Kyle Scott - June 2, 2014

“Here’s the thing: net neutrality is actually hugely important. Essentially, it means that all data has to be treated equally, no matter who creates it. It’s why the Internet is a weirdly level playing field, and startups can supplant established brands. That’s how Facebook supplanted Myspace, which supplanted Friendster, which supplanted actually having any friends. Do you remember physically having friends? It was awful! You couldn’t tap people’s faces to make them go away.”

“Yes, the guy who used to run the cable industry’s lobbying arm is now running the agency tasked with regulating it. That is the equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo. ‘Thanks for stopping over. Make sure they’re in bed by 8. There’s 20 bucks on the table for kibble. Please don’t eat my baaaaby.'”

If you can’t watch this at work (or, you know, if your broadband provider just happens to block it), bookmark it and watch it when you have time. It’s not some abstract thing. Net neutrality will directly impact how and what you watch online.

Related: Brian Roberts claims Comcast is just a little regional company and Comcast fucking hates you.

H/T to (@PhilaPhans), (@phillyrich23)

Brian Roberts Explains Why Comcast is Just a Little Regional Company and Why Owning the World Would Be Good for Competition

Kyle Scott - May 29, 2014

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Quiet down! Quiet down! Emperor Palpatine is now speaking!

In an exclusive interview with Comcast-NBC-owned CNBC, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts explained why you should not worry about his company taking over Time Warner and net neutrality being thrown out the window, and how Comcast aspires to be a national company.

Responding to a question about the proposed merger – but really a takeover – with Time Warner, Roberts explained that, duh, this doesn’t mean less competition in the cable-broadband market:

FIRST OF ALL, BOTH IN VIDEO AND IN BROADBAND WE DON’T COMPETE WITH TIME WARNER. WE HAVE TO START WITH THAT VERY FUNDAMENTAL POINT. THEY’RE IN NY. WE’RE IN PHILADELPHIA. THEY’RE IN L.A., WE’RE IN SAN FRANCISCO. YOU CAN’T BUY A COMCAST IN NEW YORK, CAN’T BUY A TIME WARNER IN PHILADELPHIA. SO THERE’S NO REDUCTION IN COMPETITION. IN BROADBAND OR IN TELEVISION. SECONDLY, YOU HAVE FEDERAL RULES AROUND THE BUSINESS IN BROADBAND AND WE’RE GOING THROUGH THE OPEN INTERNET QUESTION. WE SUPPORT AN OPEN INTERNET AND HAVING RULES THAT THE RIGHT KIND OF RULES THAT ARE LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE AND ALLOW FOR INVESTMENT AND INNOVATION BUT ALSO GIVE CONSUMERS GREAT CONFIDENCE THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO AND NEVER GOING TO BE SLOWED DOWN, NEVER GOING TO BE BLOCKED.

Allow me to translate that sans ALL CAPS: We don’t compete head-to-head with Time Warner in certain markets! So this has absolutely no impact on competition in the marketplace… until you consider the fact that the proposed merger would put us in every major US market – New York, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Miami, I can keep going – and, combined with us owning NBC Universal, which has an interest in roughly 40% (just an estimate) of the video content you consume, and net neutrality laws disappearing, give us unprecedented negotiating leverage with other content providers if they want their stuff to ever see the light of day in, you know, the biggest cities in America.

On net neutrality (just a small snippet)

WE SUPPORT AN OPEN INTERNET AND HAVING RULES THAT THE RIGHT KIND OF RULES THAT ARE LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE AND ALLOW FOR INVESTMENT AND INNOVATION BUT ALSO GIVE CONSUMERS GREAT CONFIDENCE THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO AND NEVER GOING TO BE SLOWED DOWN, NEVER GOING TO BE BLOCKED.

Translation: As long as the new rules that are put in place allow us to charge more for speedy broadband connections to the most popular content, then we won’t slow down or block those services. Otherwise, we will screw our customers until they can’t see anymore.

On being a small, regional company with a fighting spirit:

[THE TIME WARNER DEAL] WAS CAN WE GO FROM BEING A REGIONAL COMPANY WHICH IS WHAT COMCAST IS, MY DAD STARTED COMCAST 50 YEARS AGO, THERE WERE 30,000 COMMUNITIES, EACH COMMUNITY GOT A CABLE LICENSE. NO BUSINESS BEFORE OR SINCE HAS BEEN STARTED THAT WAY THE GEOGRAPHY TODAY IS THE CLOUD. YOU CLICK AMAZON GO ANYWHERE, GO TO GOOGLE GO ANYWHERE. YOU GO TO, YOU KNOW, FACEBOOK ALL OVER THE WORLD AND HERE WE’RE NOT IN NEW YORK AND NOT IN LOS ANGELES. WE TOOK A LOOK AT THIS SITUATION AND SAID, BECOMING MORE OF A NATIONAL COMPANY WAS A GREAT ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY WITH TIME WARNER FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER PUTTING THOSE MARKETS FOR SALE…

Translation: My Dad started this company out of his garage and it has grown to include 30% of the cable market and one of if not the largest mass media companies in the world we just want to take it to the next level by doing business all across this great country. It’s the American dream. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am worth just over $1 billion and have to head to dinner on Martha’s Vineyard with the Obamas.

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On a related note: Here’s our most recent Cord Snipped podcast, in which Dan and I discuss the latest on net neutrality, why you’ll eventually pay more to broadband providers regardless of whether you cut the cord or not, AT&T’s merger with DirecTV, the problem with the WWE Network, and Apple’s acquisition of Beats. Listen here.

Comcast F*@king Hates You

Kyle Scott - May 15, 2014

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Comcast plans on capping your data usage. From Tech Crunch, via Philly Mag:

During an investor call today (link via Ars), Comcast executive VP David Cohen said that he predicts bandwidth caps (or, as ISPs prefer to put it, “usage-based billing”) to be rolled out network-wide within the next 5 years or so.

The reason they haven’t done so already? They’re still working out exactly where they can cap things before they start getting phone calls — that is, before people start calling up to cancel. Meanwhile, making things more complicated tends to scare people away, so they don’t want to just offer up multiple plans/tiers — so before they make any changes, they need to find that plan that works for almost everyone.

Yeah, that’s not surprising. And that five-year-or-so timeframe will fit nicely with the 2018 lifting of the court-mandated ban on Comcast throttling your data. Figure around that time Comcast broadband packages will contain both usage and speed tiers. You’ll cut the cord by then, but you won’t necessarily be paying less, because ultimately, that decision isn’t about price. [Following from upcoming piece on cord-cutting and sports:] Sure, you may save some money now by cord-cutting, but as ISPs (Comcast, Verizon, etc.) begin to see their revenue pie shift from cable subscriptions to broadband subscriptions, you can bet your little binge-watching pants that they’re going to do everything they can to mine just as much money (if not more) out of you to use their pipe. With all the bandwidth required for streaming video, it’s going to take big pipes. We all like big pipes. Your wife certainly likes big pipes. And ISPs spend their days trying to grow their pipes so they can charge you more to ride them. It’s all about laying the pipe. Not surprisingly, Comcast has a big pipe. And it just got even bigger with their acquisition* of Time Warner. They’ll now have about a third of Internet subscribers, and that means less competition… which means they’ll fuck you. With their massive pipe.

In somewhat related news: The Comcast Network is now available in HD for Fios customers– channel 580 (and 595 in Mercer County). Just in time for baseball season. Just late enough that hockey and basketball seasons are over and Phillies games are no longer getting bumped to the sister station. Great planning, assholes.

Comcast is Building a Giant Symbol of Its Power That Will Be One of the Tallest Buildings in the Country

Kyle Scott - January 15, 2014

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World-taker-overers Comcast announced plans today to construct a $1.2 billion, 59-story, 1,121-foot building in Philadelphia right next to the current Comcast Center.*

It will be the largest building in the country not located in New York or Chicago, and the Four Seasons will relocate to the upper floors of the structure.

From the New York Times:

To be called the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center on the 1800 block of Arch Street, the project will accommodate the company’s growing work force of technologists, engineers, and software architects. It will also become home to the operations of local broadcast television stations NBC 10/WCAU and Telemundo 62/WWSI and offer space for local technology startups.

From NBC 10, which, like just about everything else around here, is a subsidiary of Comcast:

Comcast Corp. announced Wednesday that it’s building a new, iconic skyscraper that will redefine Philly’s skyline, create thousands of jobs and shift the city’s image from a Rocky, blue-collar town to a city of innovation that rivals the Silicon Valley.

“It will be a melting pot of talent and people who want to change the world in the businesses that we are in,” said CEO Brian Roberts.

Innovation and change the world is such colossal bullshit it’s not even funny. Comcast, as a company, would love it if the world didn’t change. Sure, they themselves are working on all sorts of technological advances, but at the same time, Comcast-NBC-mega-conglomerate-whatever-the-fucks are among the loudest critics of disruptive services like Aereo, which brings over-the-air broadcast signals to your computer and mobile devices (that case will be heard by the Supreme Court). They’re also one of the leaders in the fight against net neutrality– and they had a big win yesterday when an appeals court ruled that bandwidth providers may throttle or enhance speeds of sites and services at will. This could spell trouble for Netflix, which gobbles up bandwidth, especially because their model very much competes with Comcast’s model of, you know, cable TV. Comcast basically hates everything you love.

That said, it’s nice to see major development like this in Philly, and it will create many, many jobs, and perhaps will turn Philly into a tech center. Maybe. A big, futuristic building can’t hurt.

Now, someone put a fucking William Penn statue on that roof.

*Meanwhile, poor Tim Panaccio can’t use his credit card and Flyers presidents can’t expense strip club trips. Shame.

“Daily News Live” Will No Longer Be “Daily News Live”

Kyle Scott - March 4, 2013

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The NBC-ization of Comcast SportsNet continues.

In a press release this morning, the network announced that long-running Daily News Live, which has been a mainstay at 5 p.m. on weekdays since 1997, will become Philly Sports Talk on April 8.

From the press release that includes the sub-head “Philly Sports Talk will Tap into Resources from NBC’s Family of Companies”:

Comcast SportsNet, Philadelphia’s source for comprehensive local sports coverage, announces the launch of “Philly Sports Talk.”  This new sports news and entertainment program will debut on Monday, April 8 at 5 p.m. and will air weekdays on Comcast SportsNet.

Hosted by Michael Barkann, “Philly Sports Talk” will engage and inform the viewers on the trending topics in Philadelphia sports and from around the globe. Philadelphia Daily News writers will continue to contribute to the program but additional guests including local and national media members, coaches, players, radio personalities and others from the sports and entertainment industry will appear on the program.  Comcast SportsNet will also tap into the NBCUniversal portfolio with guests from NBC’s family of companies. 

 

The Talk thing is used in virtually every facet of NBC Sports– all of the brand’s national sports blogs are titled _____ Talk, CSN folks have been using the Twitter hashtag #____talk for about a year now, and then, of course, there is Pro Football Talk Live on NBC Sports. The change to DNL just further cements the synergy (I bet the folks at Comcast Global Super Power World Owners love terms like synergy) between NBC Sports and its regional affiliates. [Truthfully, this has mostly happened already.]

From a practical standpoint, it’s probably not a bad thing that CSN is divorcing itself (a little bit, at least) from a dying newspaper and any place that employs Marcus Hayes on a full-time basis. And while it’s sometimes painful to see guys like Hayes, Dick Jerardi and Marcus Kram shout at kids on their lawns and regale Barkann with tales of yesteryear, I’ve always liked DNL. It’s infinitely more watchable than SportsNite, with just enough structure to be serious, but not enough to kill a lively conversation. I would imagine that the changes for Philly Sports Talk will be mostly cosmetic and that the show will remain largely the same… except for maybe the infusion of more wide-ranging guests from the NBC Global Empire and perhaps topics near and dear to the hearts of NBC Sports NBC Comcast Bilderberg Skull and Bones advertisers. We’ll find out on April 8.

UPDATE: Oh this is fun. Perhaps not accidentally, the Daily News jumped the announcement last night. Molly Eichel wrote that, previously, 13 writers were contracted to be on the show each week. That number will shrink to just five on Philly Sports Talk.

Comcast Would Like to Offer You This Free Preview of “Center Ice” for the Start of the Hockey Season, and Other Morning Nonsense

Kyle Scott - October 11, 2012

 

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via (@Spectrum_Philly)

Thanks, Comcast.

A very brief and nonsensical roundup as I slowly ramp up following last night’s quizzo at Drinker’s Tavern. Congrats to Pup-N-Suds on their victory:

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– Was Bryce Harper a douchebag last night? He was.

Just hours after the Nationals became the first team in Major League Baseball history to lose two consecutive playoff games by eight runs or more, Harper was angrily tweeting about his lacklu… oh, no, he was tweeting about the A&E show Duck Dynasty, which chronicles “the lives of the Robertson family, which went from poverty to being wealthy due to the sales of their duck calls, primarily the Duck Commander.” 

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Truly fascinating. 

But, we have more Bryce news. The folks over at Busted Coverage have uncovered his girlfriend, a sophomore soccer player at BYU. Behold:

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They have all the pictures you need here

– Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie gives some insight into how he will defend Calvin Johnson on Sunday: [Philly Mag]

“He is 4.38. Everybody else 4.5 or plus,” said Rodgers-Cromartie.

“For 4.5 and plus, I say in my head I’m going to beat you with my feet. I’m not really going to put my hands on you and try to slow you down because I know I’m quick enough to react. A guy like Calvin Johnson, I want to try to disrupt him, get up there put my hands on him and slow him down, not let him get going.” 

 

That’s good that DRC will be on him, because Nnamdi would hand check Megatron, fall down, and then be caught out of position because he couldn’t stick a sloth coming off the line.

John Gonzalez on how the Eagles plan on containing Johnson.

– We didn’t get to this, but the folks at The School Philly summed up Andre Iguodala’s whining about not being able to shoot threes in Philly: “Bro, you’re not a shooter. Get over yourself!”

– Be sure to stop by LeSean McCoy’s weekly Eagles after party will be Sunday night at Industry XIX. Or don’t. Whichever.

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Who Was The New Female Anchor on CSN Last Night? (A Pictorial)

Kyle Scott - March 2, 2012

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That’d be Texas cutie Sharla McBride, y'all.

When reader CN commented this morning that he was looking for coverage of CSN’s new anchor, Sharla McBride, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t know what he was talking about. My thing, my New Female Sportscaster thing – not unlike Peter Griffin’s thing which tells him when someone touches the thermostat - didn’t go off. It broke. Let me down in a moment of need. Didn’t alert me when freelancer Sharla McBride took to the CSN airwaves (cable lines) last night for Sportsnite.

Thankfully, CN was there to sniff her out… and all you creepers on Twitter:

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To the Google machine!

Details on McBride, the Scranton area reporter who is getting a few fill-in spot starts this week at CSN: [via her Facebook fan page]

Sharla was born and raised in Austin, TX, and has loved sports all of her life. She attended the University of Georgia, and studied Sports Broadcasting, while majoring in International Affairs and Foreign Policies. While attending UGA, Sharla interned with the sports department at FOX 5 in Atlanta, GA, and then went on to briefly work there as an Associate Sports Producer. After graduation, Sharla worked as a Sports Reporter for KTXS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Abilene, TX. After working there for a short time, Sharla was hired as a Sports Anchor and Reporter at WNEP-TV, the ABC affiliate in Scranton-Wilkes Barre, PA. 

Sharla also freelances with CSN Philly reporting for the show "Harness Week" which airs every Saturday.

Sharla LOVES her job and feels lucky to have such a strong passion for her career!

Sharla bleeds red and black, rooting for her Georgia Bulldogs at every chance she gets! She also has a pet English Bulldog named Herschel Walker!

 

I’m a little disappointed that she doesn’t like long walks on the beach, but the fact that she named her dog Herschel Walker more than makes up for it.

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McBride is on Twitter (@SharlaMcBride) and says that she will be on again tonight at 6 and 10:

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Now, a pictorial of McBride… you know, so you recognize her when you see her on your picture box.

As always, sexy southern sportscaster pictorials are best viewed while listening to Kellie Pickler’s Red High Heels. [click play]

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Report: Eagles Asked CSN to Remove Gonzo From Eagles Coverage

Kyle Scott - September 21, 2011

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Where's Gonzo? [Photo: Philly Chit Chat]

Journalism took a nut shot today. Allegedly.

According to a report by Dan Gross (who – by the way – is just hitting home runs this summer), the Eagles asked Comcast SportsNet to remove John Gonzalez from all team coverage. As Gross points out, Gonzo hasn’t said a word about the team on the website or Twitter.

Odd.

Anyone who is familiar with Gonzo’s work, both his columns and former radio show on 97.5, knows that he liked to talk about the Eagles… and Andy Reid… a lot. Most of the time not in glowing terms.

Gross reached out to CSN for comment, and was told the following by the network’s spokeswoman, Maureen Quilter: [Philly.com]

“Comcast SportsNet and CSNPhilly.com have plenty of Eagles coverage with Ray Didinger and Reuben Frank on the digital side and Derrick Gunn on the TV side . . .. If we need John to write about the Eagles he will.

We talk with all the teams, including the Eagles, all the time. And as a good business practice, we don't share those conversations with the public."

 

Eagles spokesman Rob Zeigler said the team made no such request about Gonzo.

If the Eagles did indeed make that request, it is a very ballsy move on their part. They’re not fans of that whole freedom of speech thing, and this would be an all new low.

What’s worse, however, is if CSN honored that request. CSN already provides mostly sunny-side up coverage of local teams (example: Comcast owns the Flyers, too) and they are granted extraordinary access to the Eagles (I mean, how else would we get to see Shady McCoy giving D-Gunn celebratory butt slaps?). Catering to the one team that they don’t have any ownership ties or broadcasting rights with? Well, that’s not good.  

Of course, this wouldn’t be a surprising request from the Eagles. Their skin isn’t exactly thick. Last season, they denied one local – often critical – radio personality a credential, telling him “he wasn’t a beat reporter.” Well, neither are half of the people in the press box. But most of them usually say nice things about the team… or at least don't have the freedom to bash them in a public setting, the way, say, a columnist would.

I’ll update this story if there is anything new to pass along.