New England Cable News

Sean Smyth
Sat Dec 20 12:36:05 EST 2003

Paul Anderson writes:
<< NECN is my preferred source for news.  It's not so Boston-oriented as

the Boston stations (naturally) and offers less coverage of car 
accidents in Weymouth and more coverage of the rest of New England. >>

Funny, I could swear I've seen the northern New England folks on this
list (Mssrs. O'Neill and Billings) say the opposite.

<< What does Comcast "rolling into town" (well, maybe *your* town, but
many towns in central Massachusetts have Comcast) have to do with it?  
It's been only recently they mention Comcast on NECN at all.  Was this 
some change of ownership?  (I never recall much ado about AT&T owning 
part of NECN, if they ever did.)  Hearst owns the rest, right? >>

CN8 serves this function in the mid-Atlantic states: an outlet with news
in prime time and featury programming the rest of the day. NECN has
never really been all-news, all-the-time. I sat and watched NECN today
and saw a couple magazine programs back-to-back, like TV Diner and
Patriots All Access. And I recall a chunk of NECN's programming day up
until a couple years ago (maybe even still) being filled with
infomercials. (I don't remember exactly how big that window was.) That's
not exactly a "news" channel.

In my opinion, CN8 and NECN are becoming even more blurry in the
defining line between the two. Why have two channels serving the same
mission, especially when they're owned by the same company? A CN8 airing
some of NECN's stronger programming (i.e. Newsnight and such) would be a
lot stronger channel than the two separated.

Continental/Media One/AT&T/Comcast has always owned 50 percent of NECN
and Hearst/Hearst-Argyle has always owned the other 50.

<< Why would Comcast want to kill NECN? >>

If The Powers That Be found that a two-channel combo of CN8 and an
all-sports channel would be more profitable than keeping CN8 and NECN as
is, they'd do it in a heartbeat. And Comcast Sports Net, especially
CSN-Philadelphia, offers a better product than the Cablevision-owned Fox
Sports Net outlets (as opposed to the Fox-owned Fox Sports Net outlets).

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