While consumer advocates are demanding that the FCC instill more public interest obligations for broadcasters, cable has been quietly rolling out channels and programming devoted to local content. A recent example is Comcast Entertainment TV, which launched exclusively on Comcast in the Denver area last month with very little fanfare. Similar in some ways to the MSO’s Mid-Atlantic net CN8, CET features fitness, concerts, lifestyle programming and local high school sports. But the 2 nets’ business models are very different, CET dir Robert James says. "We don’t do news and have no plans to do news. Plus, we want to be very specific to the state as opposed to an entire region." And he really means the entire state of Colorado. CET’s programming includes video game centric "Gamer Nation," "Latin Fuse," "Rocky Mountain Adventurer," and "CET Picture Show," featuring films like "Heidi" and "Gulliver’s Travels." "We’re trying to be very broad in programming so [CET] can hit a lot of demographics," says James, who joined Comcast from Starz in late April. "We don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves into one genre." Case in point, sports accounts for only about 25% of CET’s programming. This isn’t the only market Comcast is launching local nets. In Aug, the MSO launched a 24-hr sports, entertainment and community affairs channel in its SE MI footprint that features sports from MAC Conference teams and historically black colleges (Cfax, 8/20). While it sounds like a trend, the MSO says there are no announcements about additional local channels now. "Where there are opportunities to offer local programming that adds value for our customers and differentiates our service, we’ll explore them," Comcast says. Up next for CET is VOD. James plans to put 20-30 hours monthly of sports and originals on the server. "We’re not there yet, but hopefully by the end of the year."

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