Comcast is denying reports that it is planning to partner or invest in The RightNetwork, a soon-to-be-launched cable channel that will offer a more entertainment-themed alternative to Fox News.
Comcast issued a statement today denying that it’s about to venture into such overt partisan territory.
The company says, “The blog reports that Comcast is an investor in, or partner of the
Right Network are inaccurate. We have no partnership with this venture
and have no plans to launch or distribute the network. As we have done
with hundreds of other content providers, we have met with the
network’s representatives. We do carry a number of independent networks
on Comcast representing a wide variety of interests and diverse
The network will be an on-demand cable offering, and also will be available online and on mobile phones in some form.
Billing itself as “all that is right with the world,” the intent of the network is “to entertain, engage, and enlighten Americans who are looking for
content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and worldview,” according to promotional materials. The backers of the venture call it a “new home for thought-provoking material from power brokers from Washington to Hollywood.” They say that the network will have “pro-America, pro-business, pro-military sensibilities.”
A promotional clip on its site features Kelsey Grammer, one of Hollywood’s prominent conservatives, explaining what it is: A mix of right-centric humor and information, for people upset with big government, bailouts, etc. It seems an effort to capitalize on the Tea Party movement and the perception that much of entertainment, whether from Jon Stewart or “Saturday Night Live,” has a liberal bent. The promotional packet features pictures of Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has embraced the tea party movement as he eyes 2012, on a computer screen.
The problem, as with any new cable startup, will be carriage. Comcast appears to be out of the equation for now, which eliminates a significant chunk of subscribers.
The rumors of Comcast’s involvement appear to have been triggered by the involvement of a Comcast executive — Ed Snider — in the network, although the company tells Politico that it does not mean that the company itself is involved in the network. But the company’s pitch also identifies Comcast as one of its “partners.”
Here’s one of the company’s promos, with Grammer, in which he identifies “things that just aren’t right,” including big government, more taxes, and “group hugs.”