After intense public opposition, Comcast is singing a new tune on free, analog-based FM radio service in the Bay Area. The MSO inherited the service when it took over from AT&T Broadband, but began removing it late last year in systems where it was not a franchise requirement. Following public outcry, including a rally of more than 200 people at Marin, CA, City Hall (Cfax, 3/18), Comcast decided to roll out a digital FM service featuring 30 local FM radio stations, each broadcast on a separate cable channel. But things will be a bit different. Instead of being a free, bandwidth hog, the new service will incent subs to upgrade to digital. The service will be free to digital subs; analog subs who want it will have to upgrade. Non-cable subs who want the FM stations can subscribe to a basic package ($14-$18/mo) and pay an additional $5/mo for a digital box. A rep said the publicity that followed the yanking of the FM service ratcheted up demand for it and Comcast wanted to respond. Not only is the new service digital, but it will feature more stations than before.

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Comcast Spectacor named Russell Arons president of G4 ahead of the network’s return to linear, OTT and streaming channels later this year. She last served as gm of Machinima , a division of Warner Bros

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