UPDATE: Comcast Guide De-Added

The Comedian reports that just a few hours later, the Comcast guide ads are gone.

Cable company CSRs he spoke with said they “were fielding lots of calls” about the addition.

Guess Comcast listened. Neat.

Now they should start an ad campaign touting the unique benefit of their ad-free TV guide service.

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  1. Thank you!!! I had a feeling that the reason I had to hold for 15 minutes just to complain about these stupid ads was because 99% of their digital customers were calling and complaining…

    It’s good to know that Comcast actually listened. Though, it was nice to know that we had Consumerist on our side to help spread the word too.

  2. I did a little looking around and found this thread: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,14124187

    A commenter (M_a_r_k_i_e) there had this to say, “I have Bresnan and our i-Guide has ads for programming or “quick tips” sometimes. It changes hour to hour (yes, on the hour) whether we have ads or not. Seems they’re more common in the evenings.”

    Could this “removal” of the ads in the guide be only temporary and based on hourly schedules? I saw the ads at 7PM last night, but at midnight last night and 5:30AM this morning they were gone…maybe it’s only during primetime?

    I’d love to have an official statement from Comcast about this shite.

  3. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    I just noticed these last night and I gotta say if it continues I’ll be cancelling my cable. I pay $130 a month for cable and internet from Comcast, for that amount of cash monthly I shouldn’t have to deal with intrusive banner ads on my schedule page.

  4. Now can we get the networks to stop placing ads on top of the shows we’re watching? I’m tired of losing up to half of the bottom of the screen to an ad for the upcoming program.

  5. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation

    Or how about those ads with sound that pop up over the show. They usually make a “whoosh” sound as they slide up over your show. FX does that a lot and it pisses me off. I just saw 2 ads for Rescue Me during the last commercial break, I don’t need you to “whoosh” over the dialog to tell me again.

  6. Triteon says:

    I can help answer some of these– but please know I am not the cause of this (known ad “ad creep”), the consumer is ultimately at fault.

    crayonshinobi– these ads are placed on various rotations; I can’t speak directly to the Comcast schedule, but generally rotation schedules will run as “dayparts” (morning, daytime, early fringe, primetime, etc) and the ads are targeted toward the type of consumer generally watching television at that time. For advanced cable suppliers these ads can even be targeted toward your viewing patterns, especially if you use PPV.

    Zoidberg– The ads are there because people don’t cancel their accounts. BTW, think about this: unless your viewing is all HBO, Showtime, etc. by paying for cable you are paying to have commercial messages targeted to you. (Broadcast television gives you the same basic messages, with less commercial interruption, for free.) Cable and internet suppliers will continue to persue these revenue streams until it becomes more profitable not to.

    RP– Both advertisers and broadcasters are overly frightened of DVRs. (A similar panic occured in the early 80’s with VCRs.) In order to promote their programs (these promotions not only help increase viewing but in most cases are contractually required) networks and stations are increasingly “popping up” their promos to reach a larger audience.

    An aside: according to Nielsen Media, the audience they’re reaching is only 2-4% larger than the audience that watches through the commercial breaks.

    This is just a thumbnail sketch, I could go on…

  7. Triteon…normally I love your cander and appreciate your comments, but to blame the consumer as the ultimate cause of this pervasive advertising is puerile.

    In most places throughout the US, including the entire Chicagoland region (where I live) there is not an alternative to cable from Comcast. If there was a competitor that didn’t offer these ads on the guide, I would be on the phone now cancelling Comcast…but as it is…my only alternative is satellite, which my association does not allow (we cannot install dishes in the front of our houses and my backyard faces North….) That’s my own fault, but satellite cannot be considered a true competitor since the service uses a different delivery method.

    So, I appreciate your info on the matter, but I believe your conclusions are wrong. In a FREE MARKET, not a MONOPOLY (an unregulated one btw), your argument holds water, but Comcast is a monopoly and it’s eat shit or eat shit and like it.

    At this point believe me…if I had a Comcast employee in front of my car…I wouldn’t brake. Perhaps you should blame the management for this shit, eh?

  8. jmfc says:

    Looks like the ads just game back around 6 in the Chicagoland area. Waited on hold with them for about 20 minutes then decided to try back in a bit. Just like crayonshinobi I have no other choice from Comcast. I have been thinking about switching out my cable modem from them since the service has been really bad the last two months with very slow and inconsitent connections. This has finally been enough to get me to call Speakeasy and switch to them but I really which I had an alternate resource to get my Comedy Central and ESPN. Not liking these Comcast folks too much.

  9. lem says:

    Found this post recently on Google, and wanted to leave a quick heads up.

    It looks like the annoying Comcast banner ads are back across several cable markets. Despite the negative response they received back in August and September, it looks like the ads are here to stay.

    Check out this website for more details and to sign a petition to Comcast to kill the ads once and for all:

    http://www.killcomcastads.com

  10. Jeff_GA says:

    Thanks for the heads-up Lem.
    The ad banner in the guide is now permanent.
    I complained to comcast several times about it.
    They don’t care. I did sign the petition noted above.
    Since comcast is a monopoly in many areas, they can pretty much do whatever they want including the ad banner in the guide, running way too many commercials, split-screen ads in the middle of your program.
    It’s kind of ironic because we’re paying comcast lots of money to force us to watch way too many ads that we don’t want to watch and that they get paid for by the advertiser.

    Jeff