By Brian Stelter | Media Decoder | April 19, 2010
Comcast, the country’s largest cable provider, was identified as a partner in a promotional document put together by RightNetwork and discovered online by the blog Crooks and Liars on Saturday. Apparently assuming that the document was accurate, The Huffington Post called the venture “Tea Party TV” and put up a story saying “RightNetwork Launching in 2010 With Comcast As Partner.” Other Web sites published similar stories.
Comcast, which is seeking government approval of its purchase of NBC Universal, shot down the claims swiftly on Monday. “The blog reports that Comcast is an investor in, or partner of the RightNetwork are inaccurate,” a Comcast spokeswoman, Jennifer Khoury, said. “We have no partnership with this venture and have no plans to launch or distribute the network.”
Ms. Khoury said Comcast had met with the RightNetwork’s representatives, “as we have done with hundreds of other content providers. We do carry a number of independent networks on Comcast representing a wide variety of interests and diverse viewpoints,” the statement concluded.
The impression that Comcast is a partner in the venture was supported by the fact that Edward M. Snider, the chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, the company’s sports and venues division, was quoted in the document as saying that “we’re creating a welcome place for millions and millions of Americans who’ve been looking for an entertainment network and media channel that reflects their point-of-view.”
Mr. Snider is apparently a personal investor in RightNetwork, separate from Comcast.
In the document, RightNetwork called itself an independently owned media company that plans to debut later this year. But the document was taken offline sometime Sunday or early Monday.
The RightNetwork’s Web site still features several videos about potential shows, including one called “Right 2 Laugh” and another called “Politics and Poker.”