Comcast casts its vote for political awareness and education, providing customers and viewers throughout Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington, D.C. with Candidates On Demand. This Comcast-exclusive marriage of cable, video on demand and CN8 assets offers unprecedented access to political information about the candidates, platforms and policies impacting the region's most anticipated local, state and federal 2006 mid-term elections.
Candidates On Demand pairs CN8 interview segments and one of Comcast's key cable products, ON DEMAND, to deliver in-depth candidate interviews available 24 hours a day, seven days per week to Comcast Digital Cable customers. Comcast's Eastern Division has secured more than 500 interview segments featuring the most talked-about candidates running for more than 350 gubernatorial, senate, house, mayoral and other local political races. These interviews complement Comcast's ongoing ON DEMAND offerings of political candidates squaring-off in local, state and federal election debates.
"When launching CN8 10 years ago, our goal was to create an added-value network to offer our viewers intelligent, interactive, live programming while simultaneously leveraging Comcast's exclusive products and services," said Michael Doyle, president, Comcast Cable Eastern Division and founder, CN8, The Comcast Network. "Candidates On Demand realizes this vision by providing a comprehensive destination for voters to access the unbiased political information and interviews they need to make an educated vote - something traditional networks simply don't address."
Candidates On Demand segments will be available through ON DEMAND beginning Friday, October 20. Comcast Digital Cable customers may view Candidates On Demand at no additional cost, whenever and as often as they like, through Election Day. Candidates On Demand was produced entirely by CN8, The Comcast Network, and interviews were conducted by "Comcast Newsmakers" hosts Joe Bisicchia, Jen Boyett, Rebecca Cook, Tony Hill, Candace Kelley, Linda Kurtz, Autumn Marisa, Carla Showell-Lee, Bethany Watson and Janelle Wolfe. Invitations for interviews were extended to nearly 800 certified candidates.
The majority of Candidates On Demand interviews will be five minutes in length and feature in-depth campaign discussions with the leading candidates of the region's most anticipated gubernatorial, senate, congressional races, and more. Several 30-minute interviews were also taped and will be available ON DEMAND for major elections in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. This innovative use of ON DEMAND was first used for the 2004 hotly-contested Colorado Senate race, and was expanded for the 2005 New Jersey race for Governor.
"Candidates On Demand offers a unique public service to voters," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor, University of Pennsylvania and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. "Comcast's use of its video on demand technology enables consumers to secure first-person candidate insights on a wide range of issues and implications they need to consider before entering the polls. The service's ease of use and 24/7 availability further empowers concerned citizens to get the information they want, when and how they want it."
CN8, led by its six-time Emmy Award-winning political director and host of "Its Your Call," Lynn Doyle, will also cover the action live on Election Night, Tuesday, November 7, with comprehensive coverage beginning at 8:00 p.m., EST on "CN8's Mid-Term Election Coverage." Programming will go live to campaign headquarters and local polls, and will feature panel discussions debating the elections' hottest topics along with up-to-the-minute election results and breaking news. CN8's award-winning team of anchors and reporters, including Greg Coy, Kevin Walsh, Sarah Zapp, Emily Ryan, Jam Sardar and Joe Bisicchia, will cover key races, with political experts joining in from studio locations in the Baltimore, Boston, Delaware, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. areas. CN8 will also air 30-minute Candidates On Demand interviews as special half-hour broadcasts on four consecutive Sundays from 4:00-5:00 p.m., EST through Sunday, November 5.
"This election season CN8 is thrilled to expand its coverage of local, regional and national political news with its expansion into Washington, D.C.," added Michael Doyle. "In-depth coverage and analysis of political events has been a hallmark of CN8 since its inception, and our extended focus on D.C., Maryland and Virginia politics gives us greater access and expertise in this important programming niche."
All interviews and election-related specials can be accessed through the ON DEMAND menu in both the "News and World" and "Get Local" categories by selecting "Candidates on Demand." Interviews are organized by state, race and the name of each candidate.
Candidates On Demand will be promoted extensively through various broadcast, online and cable box messaging initiatives. Fifteen-second promotional spots will air on both CN8 and other cross-channel cable networks in the broadcast regions where the interviews will be available for viewing.