Boston’s Kinda Comcastic After All: Official Praised Cable Firm at FCC in ’10

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Boston’s mayor may be calling Comcast’s
corporate citizenship into question with his claims
the company is overcharging for cable service in
the city and call for the Federal Communications
Commission to reregulate
basic cable
there.But not
all Boston officials
have been so hard
on the nation’s largest
cable operator.

John M. Tobin, former
councilor for District
Six, was telling
quite a different story
in a letter to the FCC
he sent last summer,
just before exiting the
board (and, no, he didn’t leave to join Comcast).

According to a copy on file at the FCC, one of scores
from local officials around the country writing to back
the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, Tobin extolled the
company for being a “model
corporate citizen” in Boston.
He pointed out that The Boston
Globe
had rated Comcast as the
city’s top place to work. Comcast
has also been a “tremendous
community partner,” providing
service to schools and libraries
and giving millions to charity,
per Tobin.

He also said Comcast was one
of the city’s “most significant
businesses” and he expected it
to be a “better community partner”
in the future.

Starz Likes Facebook:
New ‘Camelot’ Game
Follows ‘Spartacus’

Ready to lord over your buddies? Starz Entertainment
has returned to Facebook with a game based on its medieval
original series Camelot, after liking the results from
its initial Spartacus game on the social-networking site.

Starz launched a beta version of “Camelot: The Game”
on Facebook on Friday, May 13 — more than halfway
through the 10-episode run of the show, which premiered
April 1, but the programmer noted the game will live on
the site long after the series finale.

In the free game, users are lords of their own hamlet in
the kingdom of Camelot and amass “gold, ore, and wood”
and armies to battle other players in a turn-based format.

The premium programmer in January launched
“Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” on Facebook, which hit
more than 1 million unique users per month and about
100,000 daily active users during that series’ run.

The games are promotional but also present a revenue
opportunity by letting players make in-game purchases,
like acquiring more soldiers, said Marc DeBevoise, Starz
Media senior vice president, digital media, business development
and strategy. “It’s a marketing initiative that
has the opportunity to pay us,” DeBevoise said.

Players can create their own virtual “round table”
council by joining forces with their friends — but can also
double-cross pals by swapping them out of the council
table at any time. Forsooth!

For Carol Wheeler,
Aiding Kids’ Cause
Comes Naturally

President Obama has nominated former National Association
of Broadcasters
government-affairs executive
Carol Wheeler to be a member of the President’s Committee
for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Carol is one half of the communications power couple
of Tom and Carol Wheeler, Tom being managing director
of Core Capital Partners and the former president of the
National Cable & Telecommunications Association, as
well as a former Obama campaign adviser on technology
and telecom issues.

Carol, who most recently was coordinator for the Washington
Chapter of Project Children, was formerly NAB’s
VP for government affairs as well as a consultant to
America’s Public Television Stations, which advocates
for noncommercial stations in Washington.

The committee has a very personal connection to the
Wheelers, who are the parents of a son with Williams
Syndrome, a genetic disorder that can lead to cardiovascular
problems and developmental and learning difficulties in children who are otherwise often also highly
verbal, social and musically gifted.

“These fine public servants bring both a depth of experience
and tremendous dedication to their new roles,”
the president said in announcing a number of appointments
to the committee.

Cable Nets Hit D.C.,
Pitching Job Skills,
Music … and a PAC

Cable networks
hit Washington,
D.C., in force last
week.

Discovery
Channel’
s Mike
Rowe
was in
town to testify in
the Senate Commerce
Committee
about a new Discovery
initiative,
“Discover Your
Skills,” promoting
skilled U.S. labor.
Rowe was invited
by Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller (DW.
Va.), Discovery said.

Given the amount of muck that can be raked up on the
Hill and the warnings about how sausage is made, the
Dirty Jobs host must have felt right at home.

VH1 president Tom Calderone also was on the Hill
last week, promoting national school music programs,
which have frequently been in the budget-cutting sights
of some politicians.

And Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert pledged
he was going to the Federal Election Commission
Friday (May 13), after The Wire’s deadline, to file an
advisory opinion on whether he can actually create
the Colbert Super PAC political action committee he
has been trumpeting on his show.

Colbert made something of a splash last year when he
came to town to testify on immigration issues, befuddling
some legislators by remaining in character throughout
most of the hearing.

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