Comcast, the world's biggest cable company, will offer a package of channels that limit indecent programming, bowing to government pressure...

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Comcast, the world’s biggest cable company, will offer a package of channels that limit indecent programming, bowing to government pressure.

The “family-friendly” service starting in early 2006 will give customers 35 to 40 channels for about $31.20 a month, Comcast said in a statement Thursday. Viewers will get basic cable and 16 other stations including Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel and the Food Network.

Comcast, based in Philadelphia, joins Time Warner in formally introducing a family tier of programming. The companies are responding to pressure from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin, who has called for a curb on indecent programming. New York-based Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 cable provider, announced its plan Dec. 15.

“They did what they needed to do,” said Joe Bonner, an analyst at Argus Research in New York who has a “hold” rating on the stock. “It’s not a business decision, it’s a ‘get the regulator off my back’ decision. They’re making Martin and the FCC happy.”

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Comcast will also offer the Discovery channel, C-SPAN and CNN Headline News as part of its family package. The stations primarily broadcast G-rated content, or shows for general audiences.

“Offering a family tier to our customers is one more step in Comcast’s efforts to provide a broad array of family-friendly programming,” Comcast Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke said in the statement.