Comcast agrees with angry parent: no more close encounters between porn channels and kids’ channels in program guide

Posted on May 28th, 2009 – 3:01 PM
By James Shiffer

channelguide.jpgSo what do adult movies like “Busty Virgins” and “Young and Horny” have to do with a Disney family comedy like “Dadnapped”?

Nothing, except that such titles show up right next to each other on Comcast’s on-screen program guide. The channel numbers of newly added high-definition family networks put them cheek-by-jowl with pay-per-view porn.

Earlier this month, Ian Goodson discovered this close encounter. It disturbed him, because his 9-year-old daughter regularly checks the programming guide to see what’s playing on ABC Family HD and Disney HD. Even though all she might see is a few suggestive words, rather than the programs themselves, Goodson does not want his daughter to stumble upon the obscene while seeking out the wholesome.

“At noon there’s pornography right above the kids’ channel stuff,” Goodson, 28, a sales rep who lives in Minnetonka. “It just doesn’t make any logical sense at all.”

Goodson contacted Whistleblower, and Whistleblower contacted Comcast. The cable TV giant has concluded the listing makes no logical sense to it, either.

As a result, Comcast is changing its program guide for all of Twin Cities customers. Now the guide will display blocks of dummy channels to put a healthy distance between the listings for family HD and pay-per-view channels on the guide, said Mary Beth Schubert, Comcast’s vice president of corporate affairs in the Twin Cities.

Schubert pointed out that Comcast already offers a way for parents to screen out unwanted content, including the “rather graphic” titles on the guide, using the remote. Details are available online or by calling 1-866-781-1888.

Still, Comcast recognized it had to do more about the unfortunate juxtaposition.

“It wasn’t customer friendly,” Schubert said.

19 Responses to "Comcast agrees with angry parent: no more close encounters between porn channels and kids’ channels in program guide"

Marc says:

May 28th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Ian Goodson needs to read the manual. If you have kids you should be taking advantage of the parental controls. Stop expecting businesses to do your job and stop being angry when you haven’t done everything you can to protect your children.

Albatross says:

May 28th, 2009 at 3:38 pm

*Phew* Now just as long as kids never learn how to scroll the channel list, they’ll be perfectly safe from the porn…

Arenal says:

May 28th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Marc,

The customer is always right. Now go find somewhere else to troll.

Nick says:

May 28th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

I agree with Mark. There are many simple steps put in place to block these channels. Why can’t people figure this out for themselves anymore. Seems like it is easier to point fingers.

And Arenal, you are the troll.

Brandon says:

May 28th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

It has been like that for months. While I agree with them moving it on the guide, I personally found some humor in it. Like Marc says as well as the article, there are parental controls for this exact reason.

Jon says:

May 28th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

BS. Why don’t they require a customer to “turn on” the adult listings instead of the other way around? Because they make a ton of money off of them. I’ve seen the titles for some of those movies and I don’t want my kids seeing them either. There’s enough sh*t out there creeping under the parents radar without their knowledge. If you want the programming then go find it. There’s already enough crap for parents to stay on top of.

Chris says:

May 28th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I have Dish, and the guide is similiar.

Chris says:

May 28th, 2009 at 4:36 pm

To Jon – Does some of that “Sh*t creeping under the radar” include people commenting on a public website using explicit language and using an asterisk
to “H*de” its vulgarity?

Rob says:

May 28th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Perhaps they should change the rules to require that instructions be included so that a box can be set to not even acknowledge that a particular channel even exists – lock it out of the screen, lock it out of the program guide, and simply refuse to go to that channel unless one goes into the menu and manually unlocks it.

Ian Goodson says:

May 28th, 2009 at 5:28 pm

FYI I just got off the phone with Comcast again. There is no way to make it so that those titles do not display on the types of boxes that they use in our market. It is not possible.

Dave says:

May 28th, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Arenal, the customer is always right? What world do you live in? Anybody who has ever had a job working with customers know that isn’t the case. Sometimes the customer knows absolutely nothing about what they are talking about and are completely unreasonable when reality doesn’t meet with their expectations.

Dave says:

May 28th, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Glad to see that there was a thoughtful response to this guy’s concern. It really doesn’t make much sense to have them next to each other, and because it isn’t too complex to fix, it should be taken care of exactly as it was.

Yes says:

May 28th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Thank you Comcast! I kept selecting the Disney channel when I was tring to get my porn on.

Matt says:

May 28th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Silly me – Until I read this I thought that Comcast might actually be adding 4 whole new HD channels to their lineup. You know, maybe a little something for the latest $3.50 hike? Instead, it’s to keep parents’ entitled children from seeing the word “horny” next to “Hannah Montana”. Crerative Job, Comcast!

Jake says:

May 28th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

There is actually a really simple way to make sure they don’t display: get rid of cable. Your children should be outside, not sitting in front of a television. As a parent, I can attest that children can survive without cable, indeed without television at all. Cancel your subscription. Get rid of your TV.

Tim says:

May 28th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

Ian,
I’m not sure why the Comcast person said that. All you have to do is set the parental controls and it says “Adult Programming” instead of the title of the show or movie.

phil wells says:

May 31st, 2009 at 9:30 am

Ian,
I am a former Comcast employee, all of the boxes used in the twin cities market are able to filter out the adult titles and simply show “adult programming.” Go into your menu, and depending on what make of box you have the option will be under “block:titles” or under the “guide setup”

Joe B says:

June 7th, 2009 at 9:44 am

They just lumped all the HD channels + likey the ota ones + sub channels in a group in the 400′s with ppv starting at 500 also inDemand ppv used to ppv movies now they just have adult ppv not all of is pron / ppv events and sports packs.

The cable channle line ups are a mess why can they be better grouped?

Now why can’t they have the HD channels have the same number as there SD ones as well as hide SD duplicates / hide adult channles like direct tv can?

My Cable TV Sucks » Blog Archive » Comcast - Kids and Porn! says:

June 8th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

[...] channels in program guide Posted on May 28th, 2009 – 3:01 PM By James Shiffer First posted HERE at [...]