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Comcast Moves Turner Classic Movies to High-Cost “Sports and Entertainment” $10 Add-On

Phillip Dampier October 14, 2019 Comcast/Xfinity, Consumer News, Online Video 1 Comment

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is now missing from Comcast TV subscribers’ basic package, moved to a high-cost add-on primarily known for its added sports channels.

Xfinity customers must now subscribe to a $9.99 “Sports Entertainment Package” to get the popular commercial-free classic movie channel back on their televisions, and many are howling in anger about the change.

“Comcast’s greed is unparalleled in modern history,” wrote Dennis Haefler. “Big oil, banks, and the railroads of the last century have nothing on Comcast.”

Customers on Comcast’s basic and economy television packages with the fewest channels will have to pay even more than $10 a month to get TCM back. Only customers signed up for at least Xfinity’s 140-channel “Starter” package and up can add the “Sports Entertainment Package” to their lineup. That could cost some as much as $30 more a month to get back a single channel. That add-on package is an odd place to put TCM, considering it is primarily a dumping ground for costly sports networks like NFL RedZone, CBS Sports Network, ESPN Goal Line & Bases Loaded, MLB, and other sports-related channels.

Comcast told the Atlanta Journal Constitution in a statement it moved TCM because most customers do not watch it:

“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 and contractual limitations on offering TCM a la carte, 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.”

TCM is making available a chart of alternative providers where subscribers can still get TCM without paying for a costly upgrade to get channels many do not want:

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Paul Houle
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Paul Houle

Sad!

Classic movies are one of the best things on cable. Be it staying in a hotel room or hanging out with
extended family, I think a ride range of people find classic movies entertaining, particularly if you get them talking about the movie.

AT&T bought Turner Classic Movies and I wonder if commercial pressures with Comcast/NBC/Universal had something to do with this decision?

If it serves me right, the standard but not the basic tier of Comcast includes the Hallmark Channel which also shows old movies and is owned by neither AT&T or Comcast/NBC/Universal.

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