The Comcast Network
|The Comcast Network|
|Launched||January 6, 2009|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Broadcast area||Mid-Atlantic and southern Pennsylvania|
|Formerly called||CN8 (1996–2009)|
|Sister channel(s)||Comcast SportsNet Chicago
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
Comcast SportsNet Washington
The Comcast Network (TCN) is an American cable television network that is owned by the Comcast Corporation, through NBCUniversal; it is carried mostly on Comcast cable systems in four states and 20 television markets in the Eastern U.S. from New Jersey to Virginia. It is channel 99 and 580(HD) on the Verizon FiOS Network. The main focus of the network is on the Philadelphia area, although the channel attempts to structure its programs as national shows. Key markets include New Jersey, the Pennsylvania cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia.
The Comcast Network was launched on December 1, 1996 as CN8 and now airs more than 90 hours a week of original programming from two to three studios in Philadelphia and Washington. The network's programming and hosts have been recognized by the television industry with more than 370 regional Emmy Award nominations, with a network demographic for people over 40 years of age.
The CN8 brand was discontinued on January 6, 2009, as part of a larger restructuring of the network in order to respond to low ratings as well as closing down in the New England market, where its primary market was Boston. The Philadelphia and Washington feeds have been split into separate networks solely branded as "The Comcast Network," which will henceforth report to sister network Comcast SportsNet. Shows broadcast on the Comcast Network) include:
- Phillies Nation TV
- Philadelphia Phillies replays
- Australian Rules Football
- Canadian Football League
- Southland Conference Football
TCN has recently made the leap from linear television programming to video on demand content. Original programs are available on demand immediately following their live broadcast for viewing any time day or night for up to three days. In addition, special broadcast events are also made available on demand for up to two weeks following their original airtime. In an effort to ramp up its political coverage, Comcast Network offers local political coverage on demand as well. Political viewers have access to Candidates On Demand, the Philadelphia Mayoral Race, Political Conventions, Presidential Debates, and President Gerald Ford’s memorial services, among others.
TCN Sports, a division of NBC Sports, produces and airs more than 200 local, regional and national sports events each year. These broadcasts include collegiate teams in football, basketball, ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse; Varsity GameNight featuring regional high-school football and basketball match-ups and playoffs; professional and amateur sports events including boxing, figure skating, gymnastics, baseball, tennis, rodeo; and other events.
TCN Philadelphia carries select minor league baseball games, generally from the Eastern League. TCN Philadelphia carries "overflow" games when at least two of the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Union or Philadelphia 76ers play at the same time, with one of the games airing on either CSN Philadelphia or as of 2014, NBC affiliate WCAU (channel 10).
Within the last year, Comcast Network has made a big push to have more of a national presence, including the addition of a flagship studio in the Washington, D.C. market. Located on Capitol Hill, the studio hosts a variety of local and federal government leaders throughout the year. The network hired Robert Traynham as the Washington Bureau Chief for the network. Traynham hosts Roll Call TV with Robert Traynham, CN’s show that focuses on legislative issues throughout the D.C. area. Roll Call is the first show to originate from the network's studio in the nation’s capital.
As the network is regionally based and on cable-only in order to expand the value of a cable system, TCN is unavailable via the major satellite services, though it has been made available to subscribers of Verizon FIOS on channel 99, and in high definition on channel 580. This causes some consternation in regards to sports rights, as TCN Philadelphia is not available on the pay television system for the University of Pennsylvania, which has a satellite-based system and has much of their sports content carried by TCN Philadelphia (the same issues exist for sister network Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia).
The network was criticized by local Boston media for forcing the public access broadcaster Brookline Access Television of Brookline, Massachusetts out of their shared space at Comcast's Brookline office and studios and forcing that provider to seek different facilities, to allow Comcast full use of the studio for CN8's New England operations until their discontinuation in 2009.
Comcast's Chicago cable systems carry an unrelated channel to the Philadelphia and the Mid-Atlantic region called CN100.
San Francisco Bay Area
Comcast Hometown Network is a regional cable network produced by Comcast and available in the San Francisco Bay Area and Central California on Digital Channel 104 and HD Channel 819.
- Fernandez, Bob (2008-11-05). "Comcast to ax CN8 name, restructure cable channel". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- "Comcast reorganizing CN8 operations, cutting jobs". Philadelphia Business Journal. American City Business Journals. 2008-11-05. Retrieved 2008-11-05.