Archive | 8:30 am

An Open Letter to Comcast

29 Sep

Dear Comcast,

According to a recent story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Fox News Channel is seeking an increase in fees from cable operators, from 27 cents per subscriber to $1 per subscriber. Apparently, the network is prepared to mobilize its viewers; as the story says, Fox News is thinking about “unleashing the wrath of the channel’s base of vociferous viewers” to get this increase to pass, because Fox knows those people don’t want to lose the station.

I know how these things work, and how the cost increase will trickle down to the subscribers, so I’m just waiting for the memo telling me my monthly charge for cable is going up. Considering I already pay more than $80 a month for my service (including HBO and my DVR), I refuse to pay any more just so I can get Fox News on my TV. I’ve had enough of Bill O’Reilly’s closed minded diatribes, and I’ve had enough of people saying Chris Wallace was in the right (no pun intended) for his treatment of Bill Clinton last weekend. And worse, I’m disgusted that Fox News chief Roger Ailes called Clinton’s response to Wallace “an assault on all journalists.” I think it’s an insult that Ailes, O’Reilly and the rest think they can mobilize their viewers and force the rest of us to pay for their bullying, partisan news station.

I don’t watch Fox News ever, and I don’t want to have to help absorb the cost of this nearly four-times increase if it comes to pass. I’d rather not get the channel at all. Or better, I’d rather have the ability to pick and choose which channels I do get. In recent years there have been many pushes for a la carte pricing for cable. It’s like a buffet: you pick which channels you want and only pay for those. I’ll start with the basic networks (ABC, NBC, etc.), then I’ll add some MTV and VH1, MSNBC for my news, HBO, and a few other ones that I actually watch. The plan has its supporters, and I am one of them.

Sure, I am against a potential price increase because I’m against Fox News. And sure, I’d probably be against any increase in the price of cable service, even if it was for channels I like. And yes, it needs to be said that you have not yet announced any price increase to help pay for Fox News. This is all just conjecture on my part. But I wanted to say now, before this got too far, that I speak for many Comcast subscribers when I say please don’t make me pay for the channels I don’t want. Let those who actually want Fox News pay for it.

Thank you.