Comcast TV outage hits customers across the country

The Comcast logo is seen on a retail store in Sacramento, California on July 3, 2015. (Photo: Matthew Keys / The Desk)

The Comcast logo is seen on a retail store in Sacramento, California on July 3, 2015. (Photo: Matthew Keys / The Desk)

Comcast is experiencing a widespread cable TV outage this morning, preventing video customers from receiving national and premium cable networks.

Customers in San Francisco, Sacramento, Boston, Houston and the Washington, D.C. metro area complained on social media about not being able to tune in to certain channels like CNN, USA and HBO.


Comcast’s customer service Twitter account initially address the problem in a now-deleted tweet, which has been preserved above. A spokesperson later confirmed the issue involved the company’s distribution system located in Denver. Comcast’s corporate distribution solution HITS, which provides cable channels to local Comcast systems and other pay TV companies, is operated out of Denver, though it’s unclear if HITS was the source of the outage.

Local channels, which are often received by Comcast direct from the station, and other services like broadband Internet and home phone service appeared to be unaffected.

Per Comcast’s customer service agreement, cable customers in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, New York and Vermont qualify for a bill credit depending on the length of the outage in their area. All other customers can contact Comcast at 1-800-XFINITY or on Twitter at @ComcastCares to inquire about receiving a bill credit for the downtime.

  • Sheila

    I am in Maryland and called Comcast white marsh and get answering machines, left messages no cable service! phone and internet ok. We lost tv service around 10 am here

    What is going on?

    • Matthew Keys

      Comcast says they’re aware of the issue.

  • Kim Kavin

    It appears to be more than the cable. Their entire 800 phone system also seems to be down (based on angry messages at the Comcast Facebook page) and a lot of people are reporting Comcast online customer service also has vanished. It’s like the whole company just ceased to exist. Could some kind of a corporate-level hack take out national cable distribution, 800 phone center and web service portals at the same time?

    • Steven

      I am not defending Comcast, and my cable TV is out for all premium channels. RSNs, sports networks, and local stations are operating just fine.

      I have experience in telecommunications and I think your are being too entitled to insist that you call a toll free number, you’ll get someone. Please understand telephony is a technology based on formula (the number of trunks – lines from the outside world, with the number phones and users the call centers can take.) I’d suspect Comcast has much more than others, but typically 500 (between users and lines coming inbound) is the highest. Given this outage, and on this magnitude it’s not a surprise calls dropping and too many callers over the agents that can handle.

      I am disappointed to see how many people don’t understand telephony or old school telecom and blame the company for everything. Again not defending Comcast, just defending the facts.

      • Matthew Keys

        To be fair, Comcast is not just a cable company. They’re also offer phone service.

        As for entitlement, yes, when you pay for a service, you are entitled to that service. When you pay for television service through Comcast, you are entitled to that television service.

        And with as much as Comcast charges, they don’t get to play the “blame the antiquated technology” card. Not when they bring in $19 billion in revenue and $1 billion in profit in a single quarter. Not when they constantly tell lawmakers that they’re using that profit to reinvest in new technology and platforms that’s supposed to bring better service to customers.

        • Steven

          Again, I guess you don’t understand enterprise telephony.

          In reference to the 1-800 customer service line; most shops today use Voice over IP telephony which isn’t as reliable as older technologies. You get a flood of high traffic calls, and the system will crash – just like your laptop. Takes about 30 minutes to recover in some situations. Even if the lines/trunks are old fashioned land line, it’s the system that can go down.

          I hate VOIP myself, but its more of a case of deal with it and “it is what it is”…

          • Matthew Keys

            Most consumers don’t understand the technology they pay for. But that’s OK, because consumers are often fed lines like “It just works” or “It’ll change your life” or “It’s revolutionary and great.”

            Such is the case with Comcast, which often touts its services as being ground-breaking, impactful and beneficial to customers. Consumers want what they’re sold, and when they don’t get it, they get upset. When they can’t reach a lifeline, they feel ignored. Then they get angry and leave comments on blogs. That’s what you’re seeing here.

          • Steven

            And that’s why I have little concerns for “consumers” – if they can’t get IT, then they have no right to be heard. They don’t care about basic things about higher quality technologies and complain all over the web.

            If they can understand PBX/ACD technlogies or at least a grasp, I’ll cut them slack. However, I love to see business continue to shove it against clueless punks.

          • Matthew Keys

            I’m sorry not everyone is as smart as you. It doesn’t mean they don’t have the privilege of complaint when what they pay for isn’t what they get.

            That’s the bottom line. You can ignore the point if you’d like, but it doesn’t make you any more right (or any less wrong).