April 2, 2014

Comcast Forces Skokie Access Center to Close

Comcast will cease operations of the Skokie public access center beginning next week, forcing the station to close, according to this press release from accesscenter.com. Very disappointing news, but unfortunately seems to be just part of the trend when it comes to Comcast and public access television.

From 2005-2011 thirteen public access centers in Illinois have been closed by Comcast:

  • Bloomingdale
  • Orland Park
  • Carol Stream
  • Palatine
  • Glendale Heights
  • Park Forest
  • Highland Park 
  • Roselle
  • Itasca
  • Springfield
  • Medinah
  • Wood Dale
  • Niles

Once the community loses these stations, they’re never coming back. It is clear that Comcast does not want public access centers around – but why? For a company that has rock-bottom customer satisfaction ratings, you would think they would be eager to show off a positive side of their business operations. Public access is just that – a universally positive contribution to the communities that Comcast operates in.

The jury is still out for what will happen to Chicago’s public access center CAN TV – the City is in negotiations with Comcast, and they are still negotiating primarily over CAN TV. We can only hope the City is standing up to Comcast to make sure CAN TV doesn’t go the way of so many other public access centers in Illinois and nationwide.  The hundreds of hours of local, community and minority voices that public access television presents each week makes cable television far more diverse, responsible, and important than satellite television, which is something Comcast should be embracing, not rejecting.

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