Dr. Somnambula

Comcast moved TCM to Sports/Entertainment Package

180 posts in this topic

On 10/10/2019 at 11:11 PM, midwestan said:

So, I have no television programs to watch.  Any content I want to enjoy will come on my desktop.  (snipped)The thought of saving $125 a month is rather appealing to me.

Agreed. I cut the cord around 6 years ago and mostly got by the same as Eric:

On 10/11/2019 at 1:55 AM, EricJ said:

I also get by on "artificial TCM":  I wait to hear what everyone else is watching, and then I go next door to the library and look it up on disk.

So much is available-even more if your li-berry can do "inter-library requests". All of Fox's Alice Faye & Carmen Miranda movies TCM won't show are there, and I'm in a smaller size city.

No need to watch movies/TV on your little computer.

Two years or so ago, my Movie Buddy had me over his house to explain & demonstrate the entire "streaming" thing. If you have a new TV with streaming capability, you simply buy a modem & router as SansFin was describing. One time cost. Then you buy a "server" like Roku, Apple TV or Amazon's Firestick, the 3 most common. One time cost. Then the only cash cow is the internet stream, I pay $15/month.

I then showed MrT how to stream & HE cut the cord last year. He pays for HBO and Netflix but I haven't even begun to exhaust "free". You can drop any "paid" station anytime you want, when you're done binge watching a series.

It's the a la carte system we all were hoping for. I think it helps older people like me to have a friend familiarize you with how the system works.

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On 10/10/2019 at 10:55 PM, lydecker said:

I hate cable and if it weren't for the fact that our streaming channels (Netflix, Amazon Prime) are such a pain in the A** (half the time they load, the other half the time the don't) I would be cable cutting.

I don't have Comcast, but Rectrum and streaming only malfunctions when 2 viewers are watching the same channel on different TVs. 

It took MrTiki a year to drop his $130/month cable and go to streaming only. You should be able to purchase TCM a la carte just like Netflix. I'd just ask customer service what streaming tier they offer would allow that.

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Comcast, aka the greed machine, decided to remove tcm from its Digital Preferred customer's lineup as of Oct. 10. So you have to pay the additional $10 ransom every month to upgrade to the sports entertainment package to get TCM back in your lineup. I renegotiated with "greedies" in July and they never said a word about the change. They must not be making enough from tcm so they have to take it from comcast users.

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51 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Agreed. I cut the cord around 6 years ago and mostly got by the same as Eric:

So much is available-even more if your li-berry can do "inter-library requests". All of Fox's Alice Faye & Carmen Miranda movies TCM won't show are there, and I'm in a smaller size city.

No need to watch movies/TV on your little computer.

Two years or so ago, my Movie Buddy had me over his house to explain & demonstrate the entire "streaming" thing. If you have a new TV with streaming capability, you simply buy a modem & router as SansFin was describing. One time cost. Then you buy a "server" like Roku, Apple TV or Amazon's Firestick, the 3 most common. One time cost. Then the only cash cow is the internet stream, I pay $15/month.

I then showed MrT how to stream & HE cut the cord last year. He pays for HBO and Netflix and we share accounts so I get them too, but haven't really been impressed with the offerings. No need to buy ANY channels unless you want to. You can drop any "paid" station anytime you want, when you're done binge watching a series.

It's the a la carte system we all were hoping for. I think it helps older people like me to have a friend familiarize you with how the system works.

It's the way to go definitely, lots of stuff shows up on Youtube and Amazon Prime for free or its a 1.99 or 2.99 fee for 24 hours to stream. 

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I so far have no qualms with my cable service(Wide Open West) and too( and knock wood) don't pay extra for TCM.  My daughter however, a while ago moved to a city that WOW doesn't serve, and she wisely refuses to go back to Comcast( which she calls"comcrap"). So, she just tried occasional streaming for a while, then decided to see what SLING was all about.  But THEY apparently, dropped a local station (a Fox network affiliate) that carried some programming that she liked, so she switched to something called FUBO ( which amused me as it reminded me of something you'd hear in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN  ;) )  with which she's happy with so far.  But, like with anything else for the last 20 or so years, if I did have any issue with WOW, it would be that whenever I call about customer service, I wind up on the phone with some guy that calls himself KEVIN, but sounds as if his real name might be MADHUR or SAURABH.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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12 hours ago, midwestan said:

I get where you're coming from.  After being a loyal cable customer from the inception of pay television, I returned my cable box, remote, and some wires to my local cable company office on Wednesday.  At the first of this month, the company had a channel shake up in which it took off several channels (which naturally, I liked watching) and replaced them with stations I couldn't stomach.  So, I have no television programs to watch.  Any content I want to enjoy will come on my desktop.  How long before I go with a competing company?  I don't know.  The thought of saving $125 a month is rather appealing to me.  If I can make it through the college football bowl season without tearing up the house, I'll be fine!  Maybe!

Don't blame the cable companies.  They are reacting to the "networks" charging more for their products. 

We still have Charter Spectrum and TCM has always been on a higher tier.  While the tier we have is pricey, not unreasonable for us.  Now I would be really happy to give up all the sports and reality programming channels, but that is not likely to happen.

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I'm unsure how former Time-Warner cable can now be either Comcast, Spectrum or Charter Spectrum. I had Time-Warner cable. Now, it's Spectrum. I'm unhappy with the price - I also get Wifi through them, and I guess landline phone, which they force you to accept as part of their "bundling". I have a very old TV from 1989, which I am perversely holding onto, just to see how long it will last. So, it's definitely not a smart TV. My cable box has a digital tuner, as does my DVD/VCR player. I can't seem to make the VCR part work right now, which is distressing to me, since I have hundreds of hours of TCM stored on VHS tapes taking up too much space in my closet. I can watch DVDs, though. The DVD/VCR player and the TV require different types of cables, so some years back when Radio Shack was still a thing, I bought a nifty converter box that accepts both types, and so I connected the player and the TV using it. I'm a very novice streamer, but I've had Amazon Prime on my laptop for a few years, and my octogenerian parents got their first new TV in many years, and it's a smart TV, which includes Netflix, so I've checked out some stuff when I visit them. I also got them set up on Amazon Prime as well.

Basically, I only ever watch two channels, unless it's the Super Bowl, the baseball playoffs (right now), Oscar night or presidential election night. One of them is TCM. The other shows my local baseball team. I hear it would be difficult to find a streaming source for the baseball games. You can't watch your local team on mlb.tv - some sort of agreement between baseball and the stations with broadcasting rights - and I don't really know enough about all the Rokus and Firesticks and Apple TVs to know if I could stream that station. I know some young tech genius could probably hook me up, possibly illegally. Or I wish I could get a kind person like TikiSoo knows to personally guide me through the process. I try reading info on here, but when it starts to get even slightly technical, my eyes glaze over, and I want to take a nap.

Anyway, on Spectrum, formerly Time-Warner, TCM has always been in a mid-level tier, so I guess in a sense I've always had to pay extra to watch it, which seems to be making some people very unhappy who've only started doing that recently. I get about 80 channels and rarely watch any more of two of them. I'm going to say I easily go an entire year without watching any more than 10 or 12 channels. The price makes me long to be a cord-cutter. Some of you may recall I involuntarily became one earlier this year when delinquent payments caused me to go without cable or Wifi at home for four months. It happened again this past week, but thankfully, I was able to make my delinquent payment after about a week this time.  

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I have DISH.  I believe TCM is available in the second to top and top tier.  There is also a pretty cheap package that includes TCM, but it excludes some of the channels we watch, so I don't have that package.  Between my husband and I, we also have Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime.  Each service provides various things that we use. 

On my Dish package, I'd remove all the toxic news channels, except HLN (because it plays 24-hour marathons of Forensic Files).  I'd also get rid of all the shopping and religious channels. There are probably a dozen or so channels, plus NFL RedZone, that I watch regularly enough that I would notice if they were missing.

I hear that Hulu Live TV has TCM.  I imagine you'd want to make sure your internet connection is strong enough to support a streaming service.  The buffering issue can be frustrating.

I also concur on the library as being a great resource--though I suppose it'd depend on the size of your library network. I agree that the ILL (Interlibrary Loan) program is good. I haven't used it yet, but I've heard that it can be a good resource for harder to find  items.  I place items on hold and pick them up at "my" library.  Though my library is part of a metro-area library system.  I imagine if you're in a smaller system, the available materials may not be as plentiful.  I also have a second library card in my hometown that I can utilize as well.  I use the library to watch movies that I want to see but don't want to watch horribly botched versions on TV (e.g. Heathers) or am not sure when they'll air.  There are so many classic films I want to see, I cannot count on TCM to air all of them. 

If your library belongs to this service, there's an online streaming service called Kanopy where you can "rent" streaming versions of different films.  Depending on your library, you have 10-15 films/month that you can rent. Both of my libraries are members of Kanopy, so I have 15 rentals with one library card and 10 with the other.

 

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Comcast again treating customers like dirt. They are asking loyal TCM watchers to subsidize football programming, which the providers charge Comcast up the wazoo for. Tell me why I should help pay billionaire football owners to put on a sport that causes brain damage. All I want to do is watch some old movies without constant commercials. I believe (dont know) that TCM is seeing rising viewership, making it more attractive. In a sense TCM is a victim of its own success. Comcast wants you and I to pay more for sports channels many of us dont watch.     

This similar to many municipalities in last 30 years that helped subsidize massive football stadiums for the owners. Ask voters nowadays and they say No Way will we pay for this nonsense. Comcast wants us to continue to subsidize the stadiums. 

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4 minutes ago, starkanswer said:

Comcast again treating customers like dirt. They are asking loyal TCM watchers to subsidize football programming, which the providers charge Comcast up the wazoo for. Tell me why I should help pay billionaire football owners to put on a sport that causes brain damage.

 

You are 100% right. Live sports is the one big money maker. So they bend over backwards to be able to pay the super high rates.

You might want to look into services that don't include sports. They are much cheaper. But, the cable company will give you such a hard time trying to cancel your subscription, you might not be able to leave.

I will never do business with any of those companies as long as I can help it.

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7 hours ago, calforte said:

Comcast, aka the greed machine, decided to remove tcm from its Digital Preferred customer's lineup as of Oct. 10. So you have to pay the additional $10 ransom every month to upgrade to the sports entertainment package to get TCM back in your lineup. I renegotiated with "greedies" in July and they never said a word about the change. They must not be making enough from tcm so they have to take it from comcast users.

Same here. They knew I needed TCM. Got a terrible deal, only saving $20/month, instead of saving $50. Talked with Comcast mid-July. Less than 2 months later, the move to the S/E package was announced in my bill.

It still hasn't been moved. I'm in Northern California. 

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I'm sorry for all the folks this is happening to. A few years ago, I had to upgrade my cable just so I could continue to receive TCM, too. If I should have to upgrade again though, I may have to reconsider going without TCM out of necessity. This would leave me feeling very sad indeed.

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Got off the phone with "Amanda" from Comcast tonight at 6:00 PM (Philadelphia time), regarding the move of TCM to the ridiculous "Sports & Entertainment" special add-on package.  She offered me a new package $1 cheaper than my current package, but $9 more per month because I would need to add the new package.

I will probably move to Verizon, although TCM is only SD, but I will save $50 per month on a package with more channels.

I told "Amanda" that Comcast is losing 5% of their customers on a yearly basis and that Comcast could cease to exist in a few years.  Mind you, Comcast just spent $1.5 billion (with a b) on their new headquarters in Philadelphia.

I'm glad to pay the $230 early cancellation fee at this point, given Comcast couldn't keep up their end of our contract.

 

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18 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

What are the channels that you "can't stomach"? Just curious, but if it's an issue, don't feel compelled to respond.

One of them was C-Span3.  Heck, I don't even watch C-Span and C-Span2.  Why in the world do I need a third network for it?  Another shopping channel and a couple of religious channels were added, plus a couple of very conservative talk show stations.  They added more Hallmark channels too.  Unless it's re-runs of "The Golden Girls", "Cheers", or "Frasier", I find I risk contracting diabetes if I watch any Hallmark program for more than 10 minutes!  Mind you, TCM was not affected or altered in any way, shape, or form with the change in programming.  What I lost that really bugged me was Comedy Central.  I usually found something entertaining on it if TCM was showing a film I really didn't care for.  Besides that, any station that had anything to do with MTV, VH-1, BET, and CMT were canned.  I live in a small town in rural Illinois, and it appears my cable company is trying to offer more programs that cater to older, conservative viewers instead of the younger set.  (and people wonder why rural America is hemorrhaging younger people).  Granted, I'm no whippersnapper myself, but I know what I like.  My phone company also has a cable service, and the price is cheaper.  It offers the same lineup of programs I was getting prior to October 1st, so I might give them a try, but it will have to wait.  I have 3 insurance bills due in November, and that's going to wipe out my pension check.

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 Comcast's official story is they move TCM to a new package because it had such a very low viewership they could not keep it in one of their main package any longer.

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Yep, count me in on those that got screwed over by Comcast.

I have sports channels I don't watch now, why would I pay $9.95 a month to add MORE channels I don't watch?

Over at the Xfinity forums people are ANGRY & VERY vocal. I've emailed several muckety mucks at Comcast & even emailed the local NBC consumer reporter & actually got a response! They want more info which I will provide this weekend.

Comcast's answer to this? Merge every single thread about TCM into one big locked thread & then locking the merged thread. They think that's going to stop our discussion. 

Their other garbage answer is this:

Quote

Every month, Comcast pays programmers like networks, local TV station owners and others, for the ability to bring their programming to you. We regularly review our programming and sometimes make changes to ensure we're offering a wide variety of programming at the best value. We look at a variety of factors, including customer viewership and programming costs when making these decisions. Viewership of TCM is low, as over 90% of our customers watch less than two movies per month. Given this and contractual limitations on offering TCM a la carte, we decided to move TCM to the Sports Entertainment Package, which will help us manage programming costs that are passed on to our customers while continuing to make the channel available to those who want to watch it.

We sincerely appreciate all the feedback we have received in regards to this change. This thread has now been locked from receiving new replies.

 

Who did they poll to get those numbers?!? Toddlers & tweens?!?! I don't buy that.

I also think that if they'd moved TCM to a package with other movie channels or just done an ala carte fee for JUST TCM people might not have revolted so loudly & just paid the fee. I certainly would have but since they added it to SPORTS!!?SPORTS?!?!

It seems as though many TCM fans are NOT sports fans!LOL!!

Anyhoo, TLNR rant over. We're looking into other stuff. Verizon is available here, maybe Sling we don't know yet. I'm giving them a week to see how & if this plays out, then if things are the same we'll move to Verizon or something else. 

If we go to Sling we'll have to get an new TV because we've run out of inputs on our old TV!!

EDITED TO ADD:
You can't say the word "crap" over on the Xfinity forums. It's considered profanity!!:lol:

ADDED AGAIN:

You also can't use the word idiot! :lol::lol:

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I also wanted to say that for me, TCM is my go to. It's a refuge from the dumpster fire the news cycle & world have become.

I can go to TCM & have a martini with Nick & Nora or put on a show with Mickey & Judy. The endings are happy (unless it's Noir Alley or Underground). While there are many issues with old movies, they're comforting & dependable to me.

It's also safe in that you can watch most movies with the entire family. No need to change the channel when the 8 year old comes in the room. Yes, you may have to explain why they're smoking cigarettes or what a phone used to look like, but there's no profanity & the only sex you'd see (Post Code of course) would be when Bette Davis shared that cigarette with Paul Henreid.

 

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Yeah, I was waiting for Ghidorah, the Three-headed Monster and I lose tcm before I can see it.

:angry:

 

 

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A clarification to my first post:  The Sports & Entertainment package actually has, for my service, 18 networks.  2 are available with Digital Starter, but there are standard and high-definition channels for each.  8 are available with Digital Preferred with each in standard or HD.  There are only 8 unique networks you can only get with this package - 4 are standard only and 4 in both standard and HD.  For an extra $10 a month, you could say you are paying approximately $1.25 for each unique network in that package.  It's about $1.11 with TCM factored in.  In a way, you are being double-billed for the other networks you already get without the S&E package.  I probably would not mind paying an extra $1.11 a month to keep TCM in Digital Preferred. 

 

To JASONLEEISAGOD:  I would guess that Comcast has access to ratings from Nielsen and others to come up with that percentage of who is watching.  That, or our cable box is reporting back to headquarters on what we are watching since it is somewhat interactive.  Until now, I never thought of that possibility before.

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16 minutes ago, CMM said:

 To JASONLEEISAGOD:  I would guess that Comcast has access to ratings from Nielsen and others to come up with that percentage of who is watching.  That, or our cable box is reporting back to headquarters on what we are watching since it is somewhat interactive.  Until now, I never thought of that possibility before.

Yes, if you have a receiver box, then they can track what you are watching. 

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So....I just finished watching a show that I had DVR'd, and switched it over to TCM to see which Godzilla movie was currently, only to discover that my TCM has now also been made inaccessible. I checked and double-checked, both SD and HD channels, and neither is now working, with a prompt appearing on screen informing me that this channel now requires a subscription. So my local Comcast provider implemented this sometime today, because I was watching TCM late last night just fine (I saw a bit of Blood on Satan's Claw).

So no more TCM for me, either.

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12 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I hear that Hulu Live TV has TCM.  I imagine you'd want to make sure your internet connection is strong enough to support a streaming service.  The buffering issue can be frustrating.

 

"Hulu and Hulu + Live TV can be streamed at a variety of different quality levels, which will adjust automatically depending on your internet speed. For smooth, interruption-free playback, Hulu recommends a minimum download speed of 6 Mbps for Hulu in HD and 8 Mbps for Hulu + Live TV. If you are planning on streaming to multiple devices, more bandwidth will be required for a quality experience. Hulu also recently added limited 4K content back to its lineup, and you’ll need a well-oiled network to handle that.

The internet connection speed requirements for Hulu are as follows:

Standard Definition: 1.5Mbps
720p HD: 3Mbps
1080p HD: 6Mbps
Hulu + Live TV: 8Mbps
Ultra HD 4K: 16Mbps"

https://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/how-does-hulu-work/

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I hope you folks realize a main reason these companies treat you like this is because they can get away with it. They know you will not terminate their service.

And with contracts, early termination fees and retention depts. they make it very difficult for you to leave. So you are the captive audience, and they treat you like it. There is competition. But, most like to stay with what they have and they are banking on that idea.

 

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