Appeal Sent to CEO Brian L. Roberts
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – After its legal department approved our 30: the second commercial, “Help Us” one week ago to run on its Utah stations, Comcast reversed itself and informed us last night that it refuses to run our ad. The ad was prepaid and all set to begin its seven-day airing all over Utah yesterday on Comcast Cable stations in Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo, and St. George.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports:
Michael Magnum | The Salt Lake Tribune)
“We are furious,” said Fred Karger, president of the civil rights group Rights Equal Rights. “Our speech is being denied by the world’s biggest cable TV company which has a virtual monopoly on the cable market in Utah.”
Karger announced the news on Facebook and Twitter this morning:
Karger fired off a midnight letter last night to Comcast NBCUniversal CEO Brian L. Roberts and asked him to intercede. In the letter, Karger blamed the subject of the ad, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) for pressuring Comcast to not run the commercial. Comcast’s cable TV division has a virtual monopoly in Utah. The Mormon Church is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has undue influence in that state. 90% of the commercial’s buy was on Comcast.
“This is an absolute First Amendment free speech issue and we will continue to appeal to Comcast to run our commercial,” said Karger.
In the letter to Roberts, Karger points out that a smaller cable company in Utah did not have any problem with the commercial and the spot is running in the Provo market.
Here’s more from Karger’s letter to Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts, “Our Tuesday press conference was well attended. Three of the four Salt Lake City television stations were there and reported on the commercial on their newscasts. The stations were; Fox 13, CBS KUTV, and ABC KUCW. Two of the stations even ran all or part of the commercial on their newscasts.
Several major Utah newspapers ran stories about “Help Us” as well, i.e. The Salt Lake Tribune, the Mormon Church-owned Deseret News, The Salt Lake City Weekly, and the St. George News. Most of the newspapers embedded the commercial in their online stories as well. They even played the commercial today on the Rod Arquette Show on Salt Lake City’s KSNR Radio.
“No one else has had any problem running our commercial.”