Comcast will take over as Island cable provider
Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, will take over from Adelphia as the main provider of cable television on the Island. Adelphia has provided cable services to Island customers since 1995, when it acquired the cable system from TeleMedia.
A Comcast spokesperson said there will be no immediate changes to the service or cost, and all franchise obligations made by Adelphia would be met.
In 2001, as part of a 10-year franchise agreement with the six Island towns, Adelphia agreed to provide three stations for community-access programming, now run by Martha's Vineyard Community Television (MVTV). Adelphia also agreed to pay the Island towns five percent of the gross annual revenues received from subscribers, to help pay for the community television project.
Marc Goodman, a Comcast spokesperson, said Comcast has no plans to abandon either of those agreements.
In June of 2002, Adelphia Communications filed a $24 billion bankruptcy claim, which did not alter Island service at the time. On July 31 of this year, Comcast and Time Warner Cable Inc. closed a deal in which Comcast gained control of certain Adelphia franchises, including the one on Martha's Vineyard, with approximately 9,000 subscribers.
"We look forward to evaluating and integrating the newly acquired cable systems and introducing Comcast's innovative products, which provide the best entertainment and communication experience," Mr. Goodman said.
While the package and pricing options will remain the same for now, Mr. Goodman said the company would be communicating with customers through mail and advertisements, as to any changes that would occur.
Currently, a Comcast subscriber in Boston can choose from basic cable plans offering limited channels covering local news, sports, and weather, starting at $8.20 a month, and expand to the Digital Platinum with On Demand option, which offers a complete cable lineup including five premium movie networks for $102.86 a month.
Comcast also offers high-speed Internet and Digital Voice, the company's digital phone service, and a "bundling" service, where customers can subscribe to all three services together for a reduced cost.
Comcast is headquartered in Philadelphia, and employs 80,000 people nationwide. It is the largest cable provider in the country, with a total of 21.7 million cable subscribers in 35 states.
Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive of Comcast, is a West Tisbury summer resident.