“Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) and 52 other House lawmakers” have written a letter to Comcast, asking the media giant to make a certain commitment if it gets approval to buy Time Warner Cable, Variety reports.
The story says that the “lawmakers are asking Comcast to make a commitment to carry Latino-focused channels. … In a letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, the lawmakers contend that the newly merged company will reach over 90% of the Latino households in the United States.”
In the letter the lawmakers add, according to Variety, “For years, the nation’s largest mainstream program providers have continued to attract available channel capacity and fees from cable and satellite providers while independent program providers struggle to gain access to channels, let alone fees, for their program offerings.”
The article notes: “Comcast’s Executive Vice President David L. Cohen defended its offerings of Latino-focused content in a letter to the lawmakers, calling it ‘best in class in the industry.’ But he also seemed to suggest that the pending merger could be used as an opportunity by ‘parochial business interests.’ Comcast may face additional commitments before the [Federal Communications Commission] as it conducts a public interest review of the transaction.
“‘Through the transaction with Time Warner Cable, we are committed to bringing high-quality Hispanic content to millions of additional Americans,’ he wrote. ‘My only caveat is that the importance of independent and Hispanic programming, which we are excelling at delivering, should not be confused by parochial business interests seeking more money and distribution for themselves.’”
The story adds, “In Comcast’s letter Cohen noted that the company distributes more than 60 Latino networks in Spanish and English and, since the NBCU merger, launched two new independent networks, El Rey and Baby First Americas with Latino ownership and management.
” ‘ Since 2011, Comcast has expanded the total distribution of seven Hispanic programming networks by more than 14 million subscribers,’ he wrote. ‘This exceeds by more than 40 percent our commitment in the NBCUniversal transaction to expand three Hispanic networks by 10 million subscribers.’”
To read more details about this story we urge you to click on the link in our first paragraph, above, which will connect you to the Variety story.