February 26, 2014

Still No Commitment from Comcast to Protect CAN TV

CAN TV yesterday sent out this e-blast to its constituents, with an update about the Comcast negotiations.

It is highly concerning that even though Comcast’s franchise is set to run out in a little more than two weeks, it appears that no progress has been made in the renewal negotiations. Comcast has failed to support other public access centers nationwide. The stakes are high for the public in Chicago. 

CAN TV warns that Comcast has yet to make a commitment on the direct payment of operating support. Comcast is Chicago’s largest cable company and thus CAN TV’s largest funder. This must be a baseline requirement of the City’s agreement with Comcast if the public is to be served. 

In a letter to his constituents Dave Kraft, a CMA member and Executive Director of the Nuclear Energy Information Service, said “CAN TV is an invaluable asset to the communities in Chicago.  No City can claim to be a ‘world class city’ that does not value its citizens and residents, does not provide opportunities for them to excel as public citizens.  CAN TV provides that outlet.  The City needs to recognize this by securing adequate funding for this priceless institution.”

Over the last 30 years, Chicago has established itself as having some of the best public access channels in the country. The City and Comcast need to step up and strike an agreement that provides a fair deal to the public.

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