Comcast Pitches Bay on Upgrade

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Comcast Corp.’s Comcast Bay Area completed its upgrade in San Francisco last month, and it is now blitzing city consumers with messages about the virtues of its expanded capacity.

The plant in San Francisco proper has been enhanced to 750 Megahertz from 450 MHz when it was part of AT&T Broadband, which the nation’s largest MSO officially acquired in November 2002.

The upgrade provides Comcast’s San Francisco customers with video-on-demand, HDTV and high-speed Internet access, according to Comcast Bay Area communications manager Erica Eusebio. In addition, the MSO has expanded its international-channel offerings to this ethnically diverse market, including services like Jade (Mandarin) and Cable Latino.

All of these services are being touted with a number of marketing messages, stretching from bill stuffers and direct mail to billboards and bus shelters. Eusebio said Comcast is running different copy on those outdoor media, targeting different constituencies in specific neighborhoods like South Market and Castro Street, home to much of the city’s gay populous.

Moreover, the Comcast system has secured a radio schedule in the market and bought ads in the San Francisco Chronicle. It is also using its own air to let subscribers know about the additional services.

Eusebio said the network upgrade is Comcast’s second in the DMA: Systems serving the East Bay suburbs were modernized in May, with the rest slated for completion in the October/November time frame.

All told, she added, the MSO serves some 1.8 million subscribers through Comcast Bay Area.