Nevertheless, the dating service is proving popular with Richmonders. Cable subscribers here have accessed Dating on Demand more than 100,000 times since the service became available in February. "So people are watching it," says Lisa Altman, another spokesperson for Comcast. And not necessarily because they're looking for love.
"Between you and me," Altman says, "I think it's a new form of reality TV." People watch it with friends just for fun, she says. Hence the mini-shows on the menu that highlight "dorkiest moments" or "kinkiest answers" from the profiles.
So the guy who confessed his digestive troubles on a date still got his moment on TV. So did the woman who declared her dorkiest trait to be keeping up Christmas decorations long after the holiday has passed. "It's not that I refuse to let go," she says. "It's just that I won't be bound up in somebody else's tradition."
"At some point in the future there will be local Richmond singles profiles," Schmale says, but no date has been set. Comcast has been taping profiles in major cities. Comcast staff then edit the material and post it on the menu for six to eight weeks.
Until a taping date is held here, Richmonders can record themselves and send their profiles to Comcast. To contact people shown in the videos, viewers need to pay $20 per month (or $60 for six months) to register at www.datingondemand.com.
Comcast screens for obscenity and nudity, but not for undateability." I don't believe we make that decision," Schmale says. "There's somebody out there for everyone." Melissa Scott Sinclair
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