Operators across the country supported World AIDS Day last
Wednesday by airing locally and nationally produced programming geared toward increasing
awareness of HIV and AIDS.
In metropolitan New York, Cablevision Systems Corp. ran
both live and taped programming during a three-week period around World AIDS Day. Much of
the material was tailored to the individual needs of the 19 systems in the area.
A documentary on African-American women and AIDS ran last
week on the Newark, N.J., system, according to Cablevision vice president of local
programming Mark Shuken. In some systems, the MSO produced AIDS-related programming geared
to the interests of high-school athletes or Hispanic audiences.
Cablevision took advantage of grants from Cable Positive's
Tony Cox Fund to help produce some of the local content.
"Lots of times, efforts don't go far because of budget
concerns," Shuken said.
Cable Positive allocates $150,000 per year to cable
operators and their partners to produce local programming and public-service announcements
on HIV and AIDS.
In San Francisco, AT&T Broadband & Internet
Services co-hosted a World AIDS Day event last Wednesday at a shopping district called the
Metreon. Local AT&T Broadband systems ran cross-channel spots promoting the event.
"We were really trying to reach young adults,"
general manager Fred Yeries said, because that's the group hit the hardest by increasing
rates of HIV infection.
AT&T Broadband received support from
programming-network partners such as A&E Network, Black Entertainment Television,
Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, The History Channel and MTV: Music Television at the
San Francisco event.
In addition, the MSO ran AIDS-related programming on its
local-origination channels throughout the Bay area, Yeries said, including a series on HIV
prevention co-produced by AT&T Broadband, DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co. and the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
In southeast Michigan, MediaOne Group Inc. ran a
documentary called Positive Lifestyles: Living with HIV and AIDS. The cable system
produced the documentary earlier this year with the Hemophiliac Foundation of Michigan,
which received funding from Cable Positive for the series.
According to Amy Otto, producer for MediaOne's Michigan
region, the series looked at demographics that people don't typically associate with HIV,
such as babies and senior citizens.
Comcast Corp. ran a combination of nationally and locally
produced programming for World AIDS Day.
CN8: The Comcast Network devoted its regularly scheduled
programming last Wednesday to AIDS-related issues. The topic for its live Family Talk
show -- which aired at 7 p.m. in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland -- was "AIDS:
No Longer a Death Sentence."
Other Comcast systems in California and Florida ran locally
produced content last week, with plans to continue the focus on the topic throughout