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October 25, 2014

What the hell happened to MSNBC?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 17th 2008 2:35PM

MSNBC logoUm....OK, so I just turned on MSNBC to get the latest news and I get a notice on the screen that says this.

NOT AUTHORIZED
To order MSNBC service on channel 114, call 1-800....

What the hell? So I go to channel 114 and it has the same message. At first I thought it was one of those temporary glitches that sometimes happen to cable systems (in this case, Comcast), but then I read this over at TV Newser. Seems that Comcast is starting to drop MSNBC from its basic package in many areas and putting it in the digital package. They're doing it in Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Connecticut, and now it looks like it is affecting Massachusetts, too. Anyone else out there not have MSNBC?

I think we pay approximately $4000 a month for cable and we have a digital package, so I would hope MSNBC would be covered (especially since CNN and FOX News are there). I'm going to get my paperwork and find out why this move isn't included in it. This isn't even remotely Comcastic.

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auramac

If I couldn't get MSNBC I'd switch services.

August 22 2008 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
udumazzes

comcast is making these migrations as they call them to make room for more HD programming. thats what we all really want anyway right. for you fios idiots (people switching to fios cuz they lost a couple channels) you have to have a set top box on every tv with fios so maybe you should all research more before jumping to rash desicions

August 09 2008 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SFeddeman

I work for Comcast in Boston and wanted to weigh in here. Comcast did in fact move MSNBC and several other channels to our digital lineup in Massachusetts this week. We made these moves to create more space for additional HD and On Demand programming that are customers expect and have been asking for. In the next few weeks, we plan to add several new HD channels.

Like most of our local customers, you mentioned that you subscribe to digital cable so you should still receive MSNBC and the other channels that were moved. For our analog customers who still want to watch MSNBC, we are offering a digital cable box free for a year. In addition to more channels, there are many benefits to digital cable, like On Demand, an onscreen guide and better picture and sound quality.

We have been reaching out to analog customers through postcards, e-mails, calls, channel crawls and more over he last month to ensure they knew about the mid-July changes. Thanks for letting me clarify.

July 18 2008 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to SFeddeman's comment
Toolman

I don't feel like this is a confusion thing for me or a notification issue, I did know it was going to happen. I just have a problem with the fact that not only has by basic cable bill gone up, but now I have to pay even more to get the channels that I was getting before. Even more, one those moved channels is not a "useless, throwaway channel".

As for the "free" digital box, its not a good solution for most TVs in a house. I have a TV in the kitchen for my mother to watch the stuff she likes, like the news (MSNBC, Fox Ect.)

July 20 2008 at 2:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MosquitoControl72

And, like everyone else, I'll complain about the bandwith used (or not used) for digital.

Again, I'm on Cablevision, but many channels are unwatchable on an big screen television. AMC, digital, is a pixel mosaic, as are many of the similar channels. If there's any motion or quick cuts you lose everything. It's less like watching television and more like watching a moving quilt.

And this is what I'm paying for?

HDTV isn't much better. It looks wonderful when little is going on, but throw in any motion, particularly if it's the camera moving, and it's all blurs and artifacts. If it's done at night? Good luck figuring out what is going on.


We get 400 channels of pure BS, and when there is something on (which only happens on maybe 20 channels) it's blurred beyond recognition.
Thank you, cable companies, for going for quality over quantity. I really need four channels of 1970s gameshows. I really need channels 100-180, of which I can't name a single one and, when flipping through the channel guide, never see a damn thing worth watching.
I'm much happier with them over a decent picture for my $2000 television.

July 18 2008 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike

I haven't lost MSNBC yet, but Comcast is South Jersey did move TCM and AMC to their digital spectrum. Hmm, the 2 channels that had commercial free movies. I think we're going to see more and more channels move to the digital option so comcast can "force" people over and collect another $10 a month off them.

July 18 2008 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Skapig

All this shuffling is happening mostly out of desperation as Comcast struggles to free up precious bandwidth so that it may attempt to compete with Verizon's FIOS offerings. Comcast is trying to inflate its HD offering numbers (HD -> more bandwidth) while balancing analog cable and its Internet service. The areas without FIOS service are likely more stable.

It's a losing battle for them on the current infestructure. Many of those HD offerings are in reality compressed on top of the fact that little of it is compelling content. The analog stations take up a big chunk of the resources, thus big motivation to ween people off of it. Plus, as you can imagine, it doesn't hurt that the digital service is set as being more expensive.

Yep, so they take away analog stations, lower the quality of service to free up bandwidth, and remove stations from the basic cable lineup. All the while, Comcast has the balls to charge through the roof for basic cable service (or service in general).

July 18 2008 at 12:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KIrsch

i have comcast in connecticut and i dont have that problem they are moving channels in my area but not msnbc and the moved ones dont have problems either sounds like u have an isolated incident

July 17 2008 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kelly Linder

This really does suck. I live in Pittsburgh, PA, and roughly 15 channels have changed either their channel number, or their service level for us.

The most moronic example is Comcast moving the "TV Guide Channel" from channel 18 to channel 182!!

Why so moronic, you ask?

My TV's without a cable converter box only go to channel 99!!! I can't get to channel 182 to see the show listings. Now I have to get a cable box to use 3-digit channels and go above 99.

Guess what? By getting a cable box, I would have access to Comcast's TV Listing service anyway, and won't need the TV Guide Channel #182.

Devious, aren't they?

At least I'm getting a "special" price for the first 12 months. Now I feel "special", too. Special like: "Of course I'll call you in the morning"....

July 17 2008 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kevin Conroy

I think that you misunderstand the meaning of "Comcastic." The situation that you describe - where you were getting a service that you enjoyed but some how Comcast managed to screw it up - is the very definition of Comcastic in my book.


July 17 2008 at 8:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaxx100

All analog signals go away Feb 2009 by order of the FCC who are taking over that bandwidth from all companies not just cable. Thats why all the channels are moving up above 100 in order to get the digital signals.

July 17 2008 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jaxx100's comment
CJH

Only OTA Analog signals are mandated by the FCC to go away Feb 2009, not cable. That's up to the cable providers.

July 17 2008 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

The cable companies' wires belong to them and how they allocate bandwidth over their wires is up to them. If you paid attention to the commercials to which you refer, they specifically state that the digital broadcasting transition on over-the-air frequencies which the citizenry license to broadcasters at no charge has no effect on cable customers, only those who receive "free" TV through an antenna. Just like the nice older lady from Tennessee says. But your cable company's decisions on how to transmit does affect what stations are on analog cable channels or digital cable channels--which are different frequencies and different encoding from OTA.

July 17 2008 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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