In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which has impacted Florida and nearby areas with such devastation, Comcast NBCUniversal today announced it’s making an additional donation of $1 million in cash to support relief efforts. This brings the company’s direct cash contributions to $2.5 million. These cash donations, combined with in-kind support and funds raised through local NBCUniversal telethons for both hurricanes Irma and Harvey, raise Comcast NBCUniversal’s total contributions to almost $20 million. The giving includes a previous cash donation of $1.5 million to the American Red Cross, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, and J.J. Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund. The company has also donated $12 million in advertising time on Xfinity TV to run public service announcements about relief efforts and has raised over $5 million for the American Red Cross from contributions made during local phone banks and telethons that aired on NBC and Telemundo owned stations and the Telemundo network earlier this month.
“The devastation from hurricanes Harvey and Irma is heartbreaking,” said Dave Watson, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation and President and CEO of Comcast Cable. “With nearly $20 million in contributions for relief efforts, today’s additional cash pledge of $1 million is another step in our company’s commitment to providing a combination of financial and additional resources to assist the massive relief efforts as our communities, customers, and employees recover from these unprecedented storms.”
Comcast also has launched an On Demand feature on Xfinity TV that makes it easy for the company’s more than 22 million video customers to support hurricane relief by either saying “Hurricane Relief” into their Xfinity X1 voice remote or clicking on the “Donate Now” screen and choosing to donate in the amount of either $1, $5 or $10. This donation feature will be available through September 30, and the amount will appear on a customer’s bill as “Hurricane Relief Donation” with 100 percent of the donations going to the American Red Cross, the United Way, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and the Florida Disaster Fund. In addition, Comcast has opened up thousands of Xfinity WiFi hotspots at shops, parks, and businesses in Houston, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina to non-Xfinity customers and relief workers for free to help them stay connected.
Several NBCUniversal networks, including NBC, Bravo, Oxygen, E!, and Universo, also broadcast “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief” on September 12. This special, which also appeared on other networks, was filmed in several cities across the country, including on the Universal Lot in Los Angeles, raised over $44 million by the media industry in the first day alone. With the app and website still collecting donations, the total raised from the telethon is expected to continue to grow.