Policy

Comcast Mum on Porn Gaffe

5/03/2007 7:41 AM Eastern

Two days after Comcast customers in New Jersey were exposed to hardcore pornography running on Disney Channel, the nation’s largest cable operator is refusing to detail what caused the incident, which has drawn headlines worldwide.

The New York Daily News first broke the story Wednesday, reporting that a Middletown, N.J., subscriber complained that his five-year-old son was watching cartoon Handy Manny on Disney at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday when an “explicit sexual scene” appeared on the network.

Comcast spokesman Fred DeAndrea refused Thursday to disclose how many of Comcast’s 1.4 million subscribers in New Jersey may have received the adult programming on Disney.

Comcast also declined to disclose the name of the porn movie that it ran on Disney, nor what channel the program was supposed to run on. Comcast offers a wide variety of adult programming to subscribers in New Jersey, including Hot Network, Urban Xtra, Spice, Spice 2, Playboy and Hot Choice.

While insisting that Comcast has figured out how the images appeared on Disney, DeAndrea wouldn’t disclose how the mistake was made nor what Comcast is doing to prevent adult programming from being carried on kids’ channels again.

“We thoroughly investigated the incident and have uncovered the root cause, and we have already put additional procedures in place to prevent such an incident from occurring again,” DeAndrea said, reading from a prepared statement.

Disney said in a prepared statement that it takes the “regrettable programming disruption in New Jersey extremely seriously. We have asked Comcast for assurances that the appropriate measures are being taken to prevent such offensive incidents from occurring in the future."

The porn gaffe brought negative publicity to Comcast around the globe. The story was picked up this week by print and electronic media outlets nationwide, in addition to newspapers in Europe, Asia and Australia.

“Comcast admitted that the programming error happened and said it only occurred in New Jersey, if that makes you feel better. Not nationally. But I’m sure that for parents who were watching it that hour, they had some unfortunate explaining to do to their little ones,” CNN American Morning anchor Kiran Chetry said Wednesday.

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