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Bloomberg: Comcast is already violating conditions of NBCU merge

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posted on Jun, 15 2011 @ 09:33 AM

News giant Bloomberg has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, accusing Comcast of violating conditions it agreed to as part of its merger with NBC Universal, which created a $30 billion entertainment colossus.

Bloomberg argues that Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, has exiled its financial news television network to cable-dial Siberia, far away from the “existing news neighborhoods” where it groups major news channels like MSNBC, CNBC, and Fox News.

Mega-Media consolidation now has dissenters from within? Hard to believe, isn't it?

Interestingly, once the purchase was authorized by the FCC Commissioner who immediately abandoned ship and went to lobby for Comcast and crew, those objecting to the idea became people behind the laugh curtain of "bizarre conspiracy theories."

The reasoning behind putting Bloomberg News channel far away from all other news channels seems fairly obscure. But ultimately, the provisions about how such 'decisions' are made manifest in programming lineups in cable is not:

Bloomberg’s complaint centers on a specific condition the FCC applied to the merger, which required that “if Comcast now or in the future carries news and/or business news channels in a neighborhood, defined as placing a significant number or percentage of news and/or business news channels substantially adjacent to one another in a system’s lineup, Comcast must carry all independent news and business news channels in that neighborhood.”

To many this may seem a non-issue, until you consider how 'channel surfing' really works in the media consumers world. In the case of an event or "news" report deemed important by the producers of Bloomberg News; their coverage doesn't stand a chance of being viewed when all the other news channels are side-by-side at the other end of the cable spectrum.... it's the virtual equivalent to "location-location-location." And knowing that, why would advertisers choose to advertise on Bloomberg's cable channel?

Of course, rather than simply move the channel to the "neighborhood"... Comcast is resisting saying that it doesn't have to. Which sort of indicates what the mindset of their board and executive administration all along.

Bloomberg’s dispute with Comcast goes to the heart of objections raised by critics of the NBC Universal deal, who had argued that Comcast could use its market power to favor its own channels to the disadvantage of rival programming, in this case Bloomberg TV.

For its part, Comcast says it “does not, and since the transaction has not, ‘neighborhooded’ channels on our systems.” The cable giant argues that the FCC’s “neighborhooding” requirement would only apply if Comcast-NBCU actually did neighborhood news or business news channels in the future, but since it does not at present, the FCC’s order approving the merger “does not support Bloomberg TV’s request.”

Thus, the outcome of this squabble will likely center on whether the FCC determines that Comcast does, in fact, neighborhood its channels or not.

Of course, all of this was set out in the open when the purchase authorization was made by now Comcast lobbyist Meredith Attwell Baker.

For those of you interested in the real story behind those who bring us the (for entertainment only - legally speaking) news.

Are we learning yet?

posted on Jun, 15 2011 @ 02:15 PM
This is just typical of Comcast and just adds to the myriad of unfavorable practices that are standard for most other communications companies now, like the deregulation of commercials so they can get more revenue for running infomercials, capping internet bandwidth usage... and so on.

posted on Jun, 15 2011 @ 11:00 PM
I actually go through Comcast for my internet and cable. Here is a link showing how Comcast cheats by front loading their data transfers to make it seem like the internet speeds are insanely fast. It's from 08, but I'm sure they are still doing stuff like this.

posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 08:05 AM
reply to post by Maxmars

Comcast is not a good company. Never has been. Case in point when they took over from Time Warner here in Houston they said they wouldn't raise rates. When it was all said and done, they did.

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