The WORD NETWORK is still piping mad after getting their distribution cut in key markets by media giant Comcast.
Earlier in the year WORD argued that the move to remove the WORD Network in major cities was racially motivated. WORD touts itself as being the most popular African American religious network.
Now WORD is attempting to leverage discrimination clauses the FCC placed on Comcast after the 2011 Comcast-NBC Universal merger was finalized.
What The WORD Network is not telling African Americans and Christians, is that Comcast was careful to cover its tracks; expanding the distribution of the only African American owned Christian Station The IMPACT Network. That’s right, WORD is not owned and operated by African Americans even though that’s their target audience. Some of the key market cities taken from WORD were given to the IMPACT Network.
While the WORD has went on the war path calling Comcast every word in the book, the narrative is different for Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, Founder and CEO of the IMPACT Network. He stated earlier this year, “We’re thrilled with the commitment of diversity to all communities by the entire Comcast Communications organization. Comcast Xfinity has shown its power, support and commitment to minorities, women and the African-American community by offering The Impact Network to its customers.”
The comments for and against Comcast completely offset a discrimination claim, and the battle not being talked about is the one between WORD and IMPACT.
So as you can see, it’s going to be hard for The WORD Network to successfully argue this one. While I would like to see more morally Christian programming on TV, the WORD has not been completely forthcoming in their crusade against Comcast. Never mentioning the IMPACT Network’s expansion to Rev. Jesse Jackson and Congressman John Conyers who both took up the mantel for the WORD cause. If they’re not careful, Comcast may kick the WORD Network off the air completely without consequence.
Take a look below at the press release The WORD Network released siting FCC violations.
PRESS RELEASE: DETROIT, June 12, 2017 — The Word Network, the leading and most popular African American religious network in the world, told the FCC that Comcast violated its obligations codified in the FCC’s Order approving the merger between Comcast-NBC Universal when it unilaterally removed The Word Network from nearly 7 million homes in January.
The FCC’s Order prohibits Comcast from discriminating against networks such as The Word Network based on affiliation or non-affiliation with Comcast. At the same time as Comcast decreased distribution for The Word Network – the leading network in its category – it has given networks Comcast owns better distribution and financial terms even for Comcast’s poorly performing networks. This is not the first time Comcast has flaunted its commitments in the Comcast-NBC Universal merger.
In addition, denying millions of African Americans access to religious programming on which they rely belies Comcast’s public commitments to diversity, which it very publicly promoted at the time it was seeking approval of the merger with NBC Universal.
The Word Network is confident that the Commission will see through Comcast’s transparent actions to promote the NBC Universal networks they now own, while making harmful and discriminatory actions against minority networks such as The Word Network.
In the complaint to the FCC, The Word Network tells the Commission: “Comcast’s treatment of [the independent, unaffiliated Word Network] is precisely the behavior about which the Commission was concerned during its review of the Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal.”