The_Word_Network_Logo.jpg?w=650Rev. Al Sharpton speaks out against Comcast for their decision to decrease distribution of The Word Network, the largest African American religious network in the world reaching 3 billion people worldwide. 

Comcast is following the form not the substance of the conditions of the merger deal with NBC Universal.  The Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed by NAACP, National Urban League and the National Action Network, provided for more African American programming, not less.  The Word Network has the support of the African American community and all the religious and civil rights leaders throughout the world. 

The Word Network will also review all its legal options with the FCC including looking at their 28 full power TV stations, reviewing their licenses for lack of candor and being socially responsible to the African American community.  We will also have them review their egregious behavior of retransmission agreements to affiliates.  We will reach out to the municipalities where they have a charter to disclose our findings of their treatment to the African American community and work with the local church groups in these communities to revoke their charters if necessary.


SOURCE The Word Network

Reverend Al Sharpton Letter To Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen

David L. Cohen
Executive Vice President and 
Chief Diversity Officer
Comcast Corporation
Comcast Center
1701 JFK Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA  19103

Dear David:

I am writing to bring to your attention to a November 11, 2016 letter from Jennifer Gaiski, SVP, Content Acquisition, Comcast Cable, to The Word Network, which informed The Word Network that Comcast will unilaterally remove carriage of The Word Network on January 12, 2017 on 456 Comcast systems.  This action would disrupt The Word Network's carriage for roughly 7 million subscribers, many of whom rely on programming carried by The Word Network for their daily religious and spiritual edification.  Ms. Gaiski's two-sentenced letter gave no explanation for this surprising move and has caused deep concern within the African American community.

As you know, The Word Network is the largest African-American religious network in the world.  It is available in over 200 countries, reaching billions of viewers in EuropeAfricaAsiaAustralia, and the Americas.  It reaches nearly 97 billion homes in the United States alone.  Ms. Gaiski's decision would remove The World Network from key African-American markets, including Washington, D.C.Philadelphia, and Baltimore, as well as from other major urban areas, including HoustonSan FranciscoDenverBoston and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

I am concerned that this action may violate the commitments made by Comcast as it sought to acquire NBCUniversal. In the December 13, 2010 Memorandum of Understanding between Comcast and several African American leadership organizations, including The National Action Network, Comcast committed to extending current programming that targets the African-American community.  In her November 11 letter, Ms. Gaiski informed The Word Network that Comcast will eliminate such programming. It seems to me that removal of programming targeted to the African-American community is the exact opposite of extension of such programming.

Rev. Al Sharpton
National Action Network

CONTACT: Mort Meisner Associates for The Word Network, MORT MEISNER, 248-545-2222

SOURCE Mort Meisner Associates for The Word Network
Mort Meisner Associates for The Word Network 
Jan 06, 2017, 10:13 ET

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