Comcast Statement on TV Guide Ads

Comcast sent us this statement on the ads, which explains why only some people are seeing them at some times, and how they’re here to stay:

“We’ve added informational ad banners that provide details about television and VOD content on the lineup. These banners will appear periodically on the bottom of the guide in certain markets and will provide details about the functionality of their guide and digital cable service (examples include: setting reminders, recording shows, or using features, like Parental Controls and Favorites). Other cable operators use similar features.”

So basically, they’re like an on-again, off-again, girlfriend who cruises in through town every few days. Except without the dry humping, or even, some decent snuggling.


Edit Your Comment

  1. comedian says:

    Why don’t they dump their logo and the TV guide logo and put the stupid ads there instead?

  2. I wholeheartedly concur Comedian…I love how they use the euphamism “informational ad banners” as though they provide a useful service…

    I’d like to post my official statement to Comcast.



    You can bet that I’ll be cancelling my cable as soon as possible. On a side note, I’m glad you were able to coax a statement out of Comcast Ben & John…too bad it had to come to that just to get it though.

    Comcast guide menu, now with less useful information and more advertising, it’s Concastic!

  3. The_Truth says:

    Of course, if the ads really bother you, just do what I just did…

    Cancel my TV subscription. Although I have Cox, it finally dawned on me that I was paying $30+ a month for something that I use for maybe 2hours a month.

    Seriously people, there is nothing good on TV, you know it, I know it, everyone knows it, just cancel, and move onto something more stimulating.

  4. Rick Dobbs says:

    If their statement were true, I’d be able to tolerate it.

    But I get an ad EVERY FUCKING TIME I hit the page down button, even if it’s a lame “house” ad that tells me to go to channel 1 for OnDemand.

    If my cable was a *free* or even a *cheap* service then it would be a different issue, but I’m paying out the ass for TV/Internet and want those banners gone. Otherwise, say hello to a dish and DSL.

  5. Or an on again, off again girlfriend who reminds you that you could be watching Iron Eagle.

  6. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Dish + DSL >>>> Comcast cable and internet

    It costs me just about the same, and my DSL is a tad slower (download at least – upload is better than the ridiculously low numbers Comcast gives out), it feels so much better to not be giving that money to Comcast anymore.

  7. Ben Popken says:

    T writes:

    “Just saw the post about Daniel in Knoxvegas. I live in Knoxville and I, too, have Comcast Digital (Knology, godsend that it is, hasn’t gotten here yet). So far, I don’t’ know what everyone is talking about. My digi-Guide has no ads at all: never has. It /may/ be that the other have their guides set to display only 4 lines instead of 7? Just a suggestion, but changing the guide setting /might/ hack around the ads.”

  8. “Seriously people, there is nothing good on TV, you know it, I know it, everyone knows it, just cancel, and move onto something more stimulating.”

    Plus anything good that’s on cable eventually comes out on DVD anyway. And then I don’t miss an episode and spend the rest of the season going, “Wait — what?”

  9. Boston Kevin says:

    If you push the “Page down” button instead of simply the “down” button, you’ll skip past them and won’t highlight them. Also, if you’re spending that much time in the program guide trying to figure out what’s on, get a DVR.

  10. amazon says:

    Just one more reason that I spend what would be my cable money buying DVDs instead.

  11. Plus anything good that’s on cable eventually comes out on DVD anyway.

    Wait, wouldn’t you have needed to have watched at least one episode on television to know you wanted to buy the DVD?

  12. Brianron says:

    What is wrong with having ads everywhere you look?

    (This comment has been brought to you by Comcast on Demand. Watch any movie you want. Just press “1” on your remote. Comcast On Demand is a proud sponser of Brianron comments on Consumerist. And is the official movie provider at Brianron’s home.)

  13. amazon says:

    No. (I purchased 24 season 1 without ever having seen an episode and I loved it)

  14. Triteon says:

    Ok, my comment didn’t go up earlier…
    Following Brianron– coming soon to you, the Consumer (if they’re not in your area already): ads in golf carts on the GPS screen, ads in supermarkets on the checkout roller, ads playing while you pump your gas. It’s a revenue stream for these various enterprises, and it’s not going away anytime soon unless too many people protest, especially with their wallets.
    Think it won’t work? Many theaters now publish two times for their movies: the time the ads (trailers included) start, and the time the show starts.

  15. Interesting idea about the settings for the Guide menu…I’ll have to play around with it after I get home.

    I’m sure there must be a hack around it on the local, cable box side, because you can be damn sure the Comcast execs aren’t having to see these ads at their home…maybe some benevolent Comcast tech can tip us off?

  16. Ok…comment eaten by the void…

    It’s an interesting idea to mess with the guide menu settings, I’ll have to try when I get home. There must be a way to hack this on the cable box side, because you know for damn sure that the Comcast execs aren’t gonna have to see these ads at their homes…Maybe some benevolent Comcast tech can tip us off?

  17. Triteon says:

    threadjack alert– I’ve lost 3 comments today.

  18. DeeJayQueue says:

    There are already ads on the checkout rollers… those little dividers are slathered with advertising, and in some stores they can be over 8″tall. There are also ads on the hoses and handles of most gas pumps around here (philly). Fraid you’re a little too late on that ball. I’m waiting for someone to offer me money to tattoo the inside of my eyelids with “” or something.

  19. I’ve also seen the ads on carts and where I live the electronic pumps run ads on the display while you pump.

    The thing is, these ads are really easy to ignore. They don’t actually interfere with with trying to buy food or gas. It sounds as though the Comcast ads on the TV Guide channel make it harder to scroll through the list.

    My mother told me that lots of people where she lived gave up cable once they made the TV Guide channel only available on Digital. The people don’t drop their service because of this will probably stop using this channel to look up information anyway.

  20. The_Truth says:

    Im just waiting for a 30second ad on the Debit?Credit card sliders at the checkout in the supermarkets.

    “Thanks for using your VISA card, while we process your order please watch this 30second commercial, while we get await authorization”

    “But it only took like a second before the ads…”

    “Please watch the commercial…”

  21. Ishmael says:

    Y’all are going to laugh at me, but the ads on Popcap games ( are starting to piss me off. Popcap has free java games to play. Yes, they’re free, so I understand some ads. But couldn’t they have put the ads as a banner on top of the game window? Instead, every couple of levels, your game STOPS so you can watch the ad. A few seconds into the ad, a link will come up so you can skip it, and get back to your game.

    The funniest part? The ones I saw today were for Ford. If I’m too cheap to play a game I have to pay for, why would I be spending money on a new Ford??

  22. Demingite says:

    I haven’t seen the ads apart from the images on this site (I don’t have cable, almost never watch TV, and have a great life — coincidence?). But:

    If what Comcast says, that the ads are “informational,” is true, then that means they are intended to be for the consumers’ benefit — to give the consumer more satisfaction with the product.

    But if consumer satisfaction is Comcast’s true interest, then of course they should listen to customers who are reporting they hate the ads, and at the very least should make the ads optional.

    My cynical side wonders just why Comcast would be so aggressive about those banners…is there any chance they are connected to some kind of upselling or add-on revenue stream?

    If folks are quitting Comcast because of the ads (and the mentality behind such a move), that’s going to counteract any add-on revenue stream.

    How about making money through true customer satisfaction?

  23. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    I checked my guide out at a few different times last night and I can report I am no longer seeing ads. Hopefully they listened and these won’t be returning.

  24. Triteon says:

    Side note– EA announced yesterday they will start placing dynamic advertising in it’s games for XBox 360 and it’s PC games. Dynamic ads are able to be updated when users go online to play, while more traditional in-game advertising, such as billboards, require long lead times and cannot be refreshed. Ad creep.

  25. Triteon, do you mean that there will be ads interrupting gameplay or that ads that appear within the game may change each time you play it?

  26. Triteon says:

    The advertisers will be able to change the ad at to coincide with their current offer. (In advertising this is called “flighting”.) One day that billboard in the background in Fifa ’06 may be for a sports drink, and tomorrow or next week it could be for the DVD release of “Victory.” Note that this will only happen in games played over the internet.
    The info came from Advertising Age (, free to sign up) and a similar article is in today’s Washington Post (

  27. Triteon says:

    And sorry, I don’t know how to embed links in my text.

  28. madderhatter says:

    Yeah, we started getting the ads here in FL too. Not even comcast related ads – ads for other crap. Takes up screen-guide real estate ! Get it off !

    What next … they’ll force all HSI users to go through their ad portal and a new AOL brethren will be born – COL.