Comcast Looks To Get 'Rapid' Subs From Digital TV Transition

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Comcast is aiming to pick up new subscribers from the June 12 broadcast transition to all-digital TV, launching a nationwide "rapid-response" installation initiative promising to connect cable TV service for consumers within 48 hours.

The cable company is offering basic cable for $10 per month for one year, or free basic cable for 12 months for new customers who sign up for at least one additional Comcast service.

"One call to Comcast and we make sure consumers can continue watching TV, for as little as free," Derek Harrar, Comcast senior vice president and general manager of video said in a statement. "Whether they're daunted by what they have to do, or they're having reception issues with their new digital receiver or digital TV, call Comcast and our Rapid Response Teams will ensure their TV service works perfectly."

Basic cable in most Comcast service areas comprises 20-30 channels, including broadcast networks -- such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision and PBS -- as well as shopping and local PEG channels.

The Obama administration pushed the government-mandated date for full-power broadcast stations to switch to all-digital operation to June 12, after it had previously been set for Feb. 17. Some stations have already changed over to all-digital broadcasts.

Comcast noted that over-the-air reception of digital TV can vary depending on type of antenna, broadcaster signal strength and topographical features. The MSO is directing consumers to a Federal Communications Commission site that lets consumers check via ZIP code, which local broadcast stations will be available and at what strength after the DTV transition.

Comcast also is providing information about the DTV transition at www.comcast.com/dtv. The operator had 24.1 million video customers as of the end of March.

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