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Despite looking like a cost increase, Bright House says channel changes bring no hidden fee hikes



brighthousenetworks_remote.jpgThe full-page advertisement, published inside the St. Petersburg Times A section on Wednesday, was as confusing as it was extensive.

Published as part of the company's legal requirement to notify the public of siginificant changes, the ad seemed a marked departure from the slick marketing efforts readers usually see. It also seemed to indicate that six channels previously available to digital cable subscribers would be moved to Bright House's Movie Pass area, which costs subscirbers an extra $7 monthly.

But spokesman Joe Durkin, who had to do his own research even after reading the ad, says the six channels instead will air in two places on Bright House's system "for the foreseeable future,"  occupying space among the digital cable channels and the Movie Pass lineup. The channels affected are IFC, Sundance, Flix West, Flix East, IFC HD and Disney Family Movies on Demand.

Bright House is also adding seven new channels to Movie Pass: Hallmark Movie Channel, Encore West, Encore WAM West, Encore HD, Retroplex HD, Indieplex HD and Encore West HD. Those channels weren't available before and will appear on or after March 15th.

Durkin had no answer for the obvious question: Given the limited channel space on all cable systems, why have six channels in two different channel spaces? Is this a way to allow Bright House to drop the digital channels at a later date?

Durkin said no. But i'll keep my eyes peeled for more obtuse full-page advertisements. just the same...

[Last modified: Friday, February 4, 2011 6:30pm]


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