Insight Cable shortchanging Louisville fans

Insight cable viewers are being subjected to commercials from Matt Jones several times hourly promoting his show about University of Kentucky sports on CN2. “We all know Kentucky is going to win the whole thing,” he says, obviously relishing the opportunity to haze University of Louisville fans while promoting his own agenda.

Insight, which was recently acquired by Time Warner, also uses images of UK fans in a rural setting to promote its own cable service. Never any recognition that UofL exists in its own market. How much trouble would it be for a cable company to do a spot that includes Louisville fans? In the Louisville market?

Seeking some clarity, the observer sent the following to Chip Cosby at Insight Cable:

Chip, I’ve noticed that Insight appears to have many commericals and promotional spots promoting Kentucky basketball but rarely do we see any for the University of Louisville. This seems a little odd to me since there are thousands of Insight customers who are UofL fans. A policy of a company that irritates many of its customers is hard to fathom, especially when there are so many other viewing options.

On top of this, you use a spokesperson in Matt Jones for your spots whose hate for the University of Louisville goes beyond acceptability. Small wonder he no longer writes for CBS Sports he is so vindictive. He is obviously taking advantage of a lack of foresight at Insight management to promote UK sports and his web site.

Cosby’s response:

I’ll do my best to explain the situation to you. Of course, at CN|2 we have three shows: Kentucky Sports Television (KSTV), CN|2 Sports (the show I host), and Pure Politics.

KSTV, hosted by Matt Jones, is a 30-minute show that covers Kentucky sports from a fan’s perspective. Any promos and commercials you may see for KSTV are promoting Matt’s show, which focuses heavily on UK basketball.

My show, CN|2 Sports, is a 30-minute show that covers all the sports teams in our area, from UofL, UK, Western, Bellarmine, high schools, etc.. If you notice in the promos for CN|2 Sports, all the schools are represented. I think the thing you have to realize is that while Matt and I work for the same company, our shows are entirely different.

Matt does not appear in any of the promos for CN|2 Sports, and he is rarely a part of the show. Our mission at CN|2 Sports is to provide an unbiased look at ALL the teams in our area, kind of like a 30-minute ‘SportsCenter’ for Kentuckiana. I think we felt it would be better to do things this way than to have another ‘fan’ show…

While I realize that UofL fans aren’t enamored with some of the content of Matt’s show, two things to remember: 1) His show is targeted for UK fans, and there is certainly an audience for that; and 2) my show is targeted for ‘sports’ fans, and keep in mind that we focus a lot of our time to UofL since KSTV is a UK show. I’m leaving this afternoon to go to New York to cover the Cards in the Big East.

My response:

My basic complaint is that I see UK in commercials for Insight as if we’re all Kentucky fans here. Far from it. Louisville is never included in the commercials. Several times a day I see Matt Jones promoting his show, but no one promoting a U of L show. I know because I grimace every time he comes on. I don’t see any mention of a U of L show as UK has in the Louisville market. Certainly there’s enough talent here to make a similar show possible.

Cosby’s response:

I agree.. And that’s one of the things we will explore as we continue to expand with the Time Warner takeover. We will definitely be adding more programming in the coming months. You just have to plan things properly. Matt’s formula for his show has been a huge success with UK fans, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can take the same formula and have it work with UofL fans. There is a huge market for UofL fans, agreed. We just have to find the best presentation, and again that’s something we’ll be exploring in the coming months.

We appreciate Chip’s straight forward answers and his recognition that there are issues. Hopefully Time Warner will provide him with the resources to better serve the local community. What they’re doing now with the over-emphasis on UK in a Louisville market doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint.