Q. I have Comcast and I hear that they are dropping Turner Classic Movies. That makes me mad! I love their old movies. What on earth is Comcast thinking? — Summer, Largo, Maryland.
Summer, Comcast has announced that it’s moving Turner Classic Movies from its many of its regular programming packages (Digital Starter, etc.) to the Sports and Entertainment plan, which requires an additional $9.99 a month. (Depending upon your market, the switch may have already taken place.)
Click Amazon: See Today’s Hottest Products!
(Note: The Sports and Entertainment package, which also includes such channels as the NFL RedZone, MLB Network, ESPNU, and NHL Network, comes free with any Comcast programming package that includes 250 or more channels. If you have a lesser package, you need to pay the $9.99 a month to get it.)
Why is Comcast doing this?
The cable operator explains its reasoning in a note at its web site:
“Every month, Comcast pays programmers like networks, local TV station owners and others, for the ability to bring their programming to you. We regularly review our programming and sometimes make changes to ensure we’re offering a wide variety of programming at the best value. We look at a variety of factors, including customer viewership and programming costs when making these decisions. Viewership of TCM is low, as over 90% of our customers watch less than two movies per month. Given this, we decided to move TCM to the Sports Entertainment Package, which will help us manage programming costs that are passed on to our customers while continuing to make the channel available to those who want to watch it.”
This is another way of saying that Comcast has concluded that it’s no longer cost-effective to carry TCM in packages that are distributed to millions of subscribers. That required the cable operator to pay Turner considerable more money in carriage fees than it will have to pay to include it in Sports and Entertainment.
It remains to be seen, however, if the move will trigger some Comcast subscriber defections, particularly among older viewers who enjoy watching TCM’s lineup of vintage cinema. (Pictured above: Touch of Evil, starring and directed by Orson Welles.)
Need to buy something today? Please buy it using this Amazon.com link. This site receives a small portion of each purchase, which helps us continue to provide these articles.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann
When does the comcast change with TCM take place?
This is one of the reasons I subscribe to DirecTV
They have a package with NO sports.(Select Package)
I have NEVER been interested in sports
and do Not want to pay for channels I will NEVER watch.
There are Millions of NON sports people.
The cable and Satellite companies should recognize this.
They would have a lower Turn over.
Do the same for Sports Lovers, a Package with ONLY sports.
Besides you never saw Bogart take a knee.
Are you going to adjust my bill accordingly? If it is not cost effective for you, its not cost effective for me to pay for something I am no longer getting.
In my opinion the removal of TCM was a disaster after many many years of 24/7 you should be ashamed of yourselves persons with insomnia can now no longer enjoy a sleepless night in Seattle at 3 a.m thanks a lot sh____ heads
I complained to Comcast for removing TCM, ID, Crime Investgation, Military History, WE and WGNA, and now today I realize they removed the RETRO movie station. I wrote them a letter in October, and have not heard a word. We pay way to much monthly, for basic cable and no premium channels ($204.00), and now they are forcing us to pay another $9.95 plus taxes. After the holidays we will have to look into other TV services.
TCM turned into a bad movie channel over the years due to PC, and self promotion (wine commercials). We dumped cable and it was the best thing we had done since we first got cable (which we thought was the best thing we had done.) There are good alternatives to vegetating in front of the boob tube; although it was a bit of a struggle for the first month. Do yourself a favor and dump the brainwashing MSN, and find things YOU want to put in your head.