In an attempt to capitalize on the confusion of the DTV transition, Mediacom will offer free basic cable until June 12th to new subscribers. The DTV transition has become somewhat of a mess, with the federal government pushing the cutover date until June 12th from February 17th – this despite years of preparation and months of public outreach for the February 17th date. Many television stations have decided to go ahead and make the switch on/before Feb. 17th anyway, creating ‘mucho’ confusion for all involved. It all makes for a perfect ‘free offer’ promotion, which is exactly what Mediacom is doing. “…it gives a group of consumers a rare opportunity to ‘test drive’ cable television service without any long-term obligation or costs. Mediacom”s free service through June 12 includes installation, and there’s no extra equipment to purchase or lease,” said Cari Fenzel, a Mediacom regional vice president in a company statement.
According to Multichannel News, 124 broadcasters in Mediacom markets “…have been given permission to terminate analog service before June 12, and another 44 asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to do so but were told not to do so until the FCC is convinced significant risk of public harm won’t occur in those areas.” Identified markets that are making the switch before June 12th include Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, IA; Springfield, MO., and Mobile, AL. The free offer includes 20 or so channels and does not require a set-top-box.