Comcast bans gun ads -- sort of
The company's new policy against firearms advertising applies only to local spots on national cable channels. Ads will linger on cable and newspapers.
The ban by Comcast only applies to commercial time sold by Comcast Spotlight, the advertising-sales division of Comcast Cable that sells local spots on national cable channels.
But advertisements on networks such as The Sportsman Channel, which feature programs about hunting and shooting, and Outdoor Channel, which The Sportsman Channel's corporate parent is in the process of buying, are not covered by the policy.
Comcast Spotlight sells commercial time on Outdoor Channel but not The Sportsman Channel. A spokesperson for Outdoor Channel, whose programs include "Impossible Shots," "Gun Stories" and "Shooting USA," had no immediate comment.
The Sportsman Channel recently came under fire for running a National Rifle Association commercial that called President Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for opposing the organization's plan to put armed guards in schools even though his daughters are protected by Secret Service agents who carry weapons, according to Broadcast & Cable.
Though the policy has angered some owners of gun shops, the impact of this move, which the company says is "consistent with longstanding NBC policies," won't have a significant financial affect on a multibillion-dollar company such as Comcast.
Comcast rival Time Warner Cable (TWC) will continue to accept gun ads, though not those featuring semi-automatic weapons or those showing weapons pointed at people. The company's policy also only applies to commercial time sold by the company. Gannett (GCI), the largest newspaper publisher, isn't considering a similar policy, according to spokesman Jeremy Gaines.
Officials at the National Shooting Sports Federation had no immediate comment on this story. The Brady Campaign to Combat Handgun Violence declined to comment.
--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
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