Despite recent reports in the consumer press that an impasse between cable operators and broadcasters is slowing the rollout of high-definition television services, Comcast Corp. pushed ahead on its own HD strategy Wednesday, expanding a retail deal with Best Buy.
Under the expanded deal, Best Buy stores in Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.; Baltimore, Md.; and Washington, D.C. will hawk Comcast's HD offerings and the equipment required to get them.
The new markets were added following a successful retail rollout in Comcast's hometown of Philadelphia, the companies said.
Using a co-branded "Sales Activation Kit," a total of 31 Best Buy outlets will sell "digital-ready" HDTV sets and Comcast digital cable services. Best Buy will offer the kit for $79.99. It includes free service installation, two free months of HBO and Showtime and "several" pay-per-view coupons. Comcast and Best Buy are offering the deal to new Comcast digital customers, including customers who are upgrading from analog service.
"In working with Comcast to showcase Comcast Digital Cable and the latest in HDTV services, we're helping customers understand the latest and greatest in cable television technology today," said Bill Cody, vice president of home theater for Best Buy.