For Comcast, the Hitz are coming, albeit not all at once.
As it said it would in late May, the operator started today replacing Cinemax channels with its own on-demand movie network, Hitz.
According to a premium-tier customer in a Philadelphia suburb, three of his five Cinemax channels are now listed as “HITZ, HITZ2 and HITZ3.”
“I’ve confirmed everything is moving forward as planned,” a Comcast press rep told MCN in an email this morning.
The largest U.S. cable operator announced on a marketing page in late May that it was going to replace WarnerMedia-owned premium channel Cinemax with Hitz, effective July 17.
Comcast is apparently just slow in updating its marketing collateral to reflect the transition.
As of this morning, Cinemax is still listed as being a part of the premium tiers for which it was supposed to be replaced by Hitz. For example, Cinemax is still listed along with sibling network HBO, Showtime and Starz in the 260-plus-channel Xfinity Premier bundle.
And notably, Cinemax is still included on a Comcast marketing page devoted to premium channels offered by the operator. These also include Epix and Showtime Networks-owned The Movie Channel.
Hitz, Comcast said, would replace Cinemax today, offering a rotating selection of 200 films from major studios on-demand. But it’s still not included on this premium channel page.
Effective today, the operator said, Cinemax is still be available to Comcast subscribers, but only as a $12-a-month premium add-on. The Comcast rep said the operator will continue to promote that a la carte option.
“After Hitz launches on July 17, the easiest way to find Hitz will be saying ‘Hitz’ into your X1 voice remote," Comcast said while announcing the channel. "Hitz can also be found in the Networks section of the On Demand menu. You can also see current Hitz movies in the on-screen grid guide — frequently near other movie services.”
Since Hitz was announced, Comcast reps have worked the message boards and tried explain the switch to customers, some of which are bereaved.
On July 4, for example, Comcast user “megdrex” complained, "We all know we're losing six channels and gaining one worthless piece of garbage.”
Verified employee “ComcastPhill” responded that the cable operator has the contractual right to “add, change and remove” channels.
He further explained, “Most of the movies on Cinemax have also aired on HBO, which creates a duplication since your TV package also includes HBO. By adding Hitz to your package for no additional charge, we’re offering a comparable number of movie titles to Cinemax.”