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Adelphia to Restore C-SPAN in L.A.

1/25/2002 9:15 AM Eastern

After fielding customer complaints, Adelphia Communications Corp. said it
would restore C-SPAN to 24-hour status on its Los Angeles-area systems by March
1, according to the network.

Restoring C-SPAN2 will take longer -- perhaps up to six months.

In its latest shuffling of analog channels, Adelphia moved C-SPAN to make
room for two broadcast stations it must carry in 11 of the market's franchise
areas.

C-SPAN2 was bumped from the lineup, while C-SPAN was reduced to sharing a
slot with TV Guide Channel, which airs during primetime.

Lee Perron, vice president of the Los Angeles division, said that in order to
restore C-SPAN in the city of Los Angeles, Adelphia will temporarily drop TV
Guide Channel from analog.

Customers who still want on-screen guides will be offered free digital boxes
to access the digital guide until the system completes its rebuild in the fourth
quarter. The customers must then return the boxes or upgrade to digital.

A group of vocal consumers said they were not notified of the pending change
and were unhappy about how they were treated when they called to complain.

'I asked for customer complaints, and the guy said, `Adelphia doesn't take
complaints.' Can you believe it?' said Bill Pietz, a former college professor.
He was advised to complain to the Los Angeles Information Technology Agency
instead.

Harriet Beck said she was told to 'complain to anybody you want' by one
customer-service representative, hung up on by another and referred to the
Coudersport, Pa., headquarters by a third CSR.

Adelphia officials did not return calls for comment.

Local consumers have formed Los Angeles Citizens for C-SPAN, which Pietz will
help to chair. The activist group will try to protect its favorite channel.

'A cable system has become nothing more than retail space,' Beck said.
'Public service was important when there was nothing to air, but now that they
can get paid for that space, public service goes out the window. Economics are
working against us.'

 

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