Cable TV Networks Strive to Create Positive Change Through Giving Back

community service

The giving season is in full swing, and the cable industry has been hard at work not just this month, but every day of the year to help the communities they serve to grow and thrive. On the cable TV side, networks host numerous initiatives and programs aimed at charitable giving and to engage their employees in community service. The causes they support run the gamut to include challenges that America is grappling with, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and social injustice. Cable TV networks use their platforms, resources, and influence to educate, inform, and raise awareness among their viewers about these important issues. 

Read below for a snapshot of the plethora of ongoing efforts among the cable programming community that are helping people across the country get through these challenging times.  

A+E Networks remains active in numerous causes including support for veterans, providing mentorship opportunities for young people, support for women and girls, combating racial injustice, and preserving America's history. Its partners include Feed the Children, NAACP, National Council on Disability, and GLAAD, among many others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the network launched the #WeAreHereWithYou campaign to share information and resources about the crisis and to raise awareness about organizations helping communities get through the pandemic. 

AMC Networks has dedicated time and resources towards charitable giving and volunteer efforts, especially towards the pandemic and the fight against racial injustice over the years. In 2020, AMC Networks asked its U.S. employees to identify charitable organizations they work or connect with, and which devote efforts to racial inequality, to receive a $1,000 donation from the company. The aim was to assist smaller organizations that work at the grassroots level. The network also gave employees $1,000 apiece to donate to COVID-19 related relief efforts. 

Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation announced a $3.475 million donation to grant funding towards Project Innovation, which is an increase from the previous year and goes towards 100 nonprofits that are dedicated to community engagement, fostering a culture of inclusion, and educating and empowering youth. This is just one of the myriad of initiatives started by the network, which supports a volunteering and social impact program to engage its employees in a variety of causes through Comcast NBCUnites. 

Crown Media Family Networks' employees have stayed active in their communities throughout the pandemic. In fact, in 2020, they donated nearly 30,000 hours of volunteer service valued at nearly $800,000. Hallmark supported its hometown of Kansas City by focusing on the basic needs of families in the area. Hallmark also distributed more than $3 million in grants and sponsorships to nonprofits that provide hunger relief, job support services, shelter for the homeless, personal dignity products, housing and neighborhood support, and other basic needs. 

Discovery has a myriad of consumer and employee-facing initiatives and campaigns dedicated to global social good, as well as corporate partnerships that are moving the needle on childhood hunger, inequality, and wildlife preservation. Its consumer campaigns include RISE (Reducing Inequality and Supporting Empowerment), which is the network's commitment to improving social mobility through access to basic human needs, and Project C.A.T., which supports a global effort to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022. Say Yes to the Prom is one of its many employee-driven initiatives in which employees lead dress and suit drives across the network's U.S. offices to help give underserved and deserving high school students the "perfect prom look." 

ESPN focuses on five key areas through the ESPN Corporate Citizenship program: access to sports; leadership through sports; support for cancer research; community investment; and sustainability. The network accomplishes these goals each year through employee volunteerism, charitable giving, cause marketing and sustainability, and through utilizing its media assets to reach and uplift diverse communities. In addition, ESPN has helped more than 1.3 million youth gain access to sports through its charitable programs and initiatives. 

FOX Sports has a company-wide program, FOX Sports Supports, dedicated to harnessing the power of sports for transformative social impact. The program mobilizes its resources, employees, and charitable contributions to create awareness across the network's platforms about the importance of opening up opportunities in athletics and access to sports for underserved youth and military heroes. The program has helped more than 80 organizations in the U.S. over the past 13 years. 

Univision formed its foundation four years ago to promote the well-being of the Hispanic community through advancing education, health, civic engagement, and charitable activities. The foundation partners with other groups and businesses to raise funds for educational media initiatives and campaigns that align with these objectives, as well as to deploy funds that support victims of natural disasters.

ViacomCBS hosted its 25th annual day of service this past June in which employees led virtual volunteer projects worldwide in New York City and 30 regions globally with focuses on youth empowerment and mentorship for underserved youth. ViacomCBS is also deeply committed to social justice. In 2020, the network announced it was donating $5 million to social justice organizations, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Equal Justice Initiative, and Amnesty International, to help combat racial inequality in America. 

WarnerMedia's social impact efforts include civic engagement, helping those affected by COVID-19, advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through PSAs and online platforms, WarnerMedia aims to educate and empower Americans to become active voters and to fulfill their civic duties to society. And in the fight against COVID-19, WarnerMedia has made charitable donations to productions impacted by the pandemic, to people in immediate need and in dire situations, and assisted those struggling with depression through its partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

Read about how cable internet service providers are giving back to their communities year-round.